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GPs set to gain access to 30-second fingertip AF testing device

A new tech device to speed up atrial fibrillation diagnosis has the potential to save the NHS £2bn, its developer has claimed.

The credit card-sized ‘KardiaMobile’, which links up to smartphone app, can produce an ECG reading to indicate whether a patient has AF in under 30 seconds.

Funded by NHS England’s NHS Innovation Accelerator scheme, it will be distributed to GP practices in 15 areas of the country.

According to the developer, the device will replace the need for GPs to refer patients to hospital for an ECG.

GPs will be encouraged to use it as a screening-tool for atrial fibrillation during routine appointments or during other health checks.

AF affects £1.4m people in the UK, however half a million are undiagnosed and at risk of suffering strokes as a result, according to the Stroke Association.

Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association chief executive Trudie Lobban said: ‘The device can be used at any time. AF can be diagnosed faster, anticoagulation therapy can be prescribed to reduce the risk of an AF-related stroke and treatment for AF can be accelerated.’

Device developer AliveCor vice president Francis White said: ‘Providing our technology to GPs and hospitals around the UK offers a more efficient solution to AF diagnosis and may ultimately improve patient outcomes.’

NICE has piloted AF screening in GP practices, despite resistance from GP leaders.

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