An AI firm that is assisting in detecting and diagnosing heart conditions has announced its launch in the UK. It’s thought the new product could help save the NHS billions of pounds.
iRhythm Technologies is a digital healthcare company that works on creating products used to identify heart arrhythmias, such as arterial fibrillation (AF). This condition affects around 1.2 million people in the UK alone.
Public Health England estimates that around half a million live with undiagnosed AF, a disorder which left untreated, can lead to strokes, disability and even death. It’s thought that strokes cost the NHS around £4 billion a year.
Using outdated methods
Traditionally, the products to detect heart problems, such as the Holter device, use outdated procedures and are presumed to miss around 50% of actual arrhythmias. Along with this, people often have to come back for several appointments, causing stress for both practitioners and patients alike.
However, iRythm’s new service, known as Zio, involves using a small wearable heart monitor that attaches to the patient’s chest for 14 days. Here it monitors the heart beat using a biosensor as the patient goes about their daily lives.
Part of the analysis process uses cloud based data analytics with proprietary algorithms that take data from millions of previously tested heartbeats.
Artificial intelligence is also used to detect any signs of AF with just one wear. Between June and August of this year, the product detected arrhythmia in 72% of test patients. One in ten of those were diagnosed with AF after a follow up consultation with a human physician.
“AF is one of the most important preventable risk factors for stroke disease. Patients who suffer an AF-related stroke often have poor outcomes – and we’re launching in the UK to change that,” Justin Hall, VP and GM EMEA at iRhythm Technologies, said.
Hall continued: “With access to such innovative digital technologies – which utilise AI to accurately and efficiently aid detection and diagnosis of arrhythmias, such as AF, at the first time of asking, we can eliminate the need for numerous patient visits due to indeterminate repeat tests, as well as significantly improving the patient experience.”
“Compared to traditional cardiac monitoring devices, the Zio service streamlines the patient diagnostic journey – ensuring patients and clinicians get the answers they need for the right treatment path,” Hall added.