Mobile Health Topic of the Week

Preventicus Heartbeats detects atrial fibrillation with your smartphone

The COVID-19 pandemic may have ground life to a halt, but management of chronic diseases must somehow go on. The app Heartbeats by German-based firm Preventicus may revolutionize the remote management of atrial fibrillation (AF), by detecting the arrhythmia using nothing else but a smartphone camera.

Life with atrial fibrillation is tough

Atrial fibrillation (often abbreviated to AF) is the most common type of arrhytmia. One of the biggest challenges for both patients and doctors is actually confirming AF episodes, as the arrhythmia comes and goes in its earlier stages. Add to that the difficulty and risks that come with visiting a doctor during the COVID-19 outbreak, and it’s certain that AF patients are having an especially hard time getting proper treatment.

Heartbeats turn your smartphone into a medical-grade AF detector

Preventicus Heartbeats enables AF detection with nothing but a smartphone camera. Patients rest the tip of their finger on their phone’s camera for a minute. During that time, the app finds their pulse and monitors it for arrhythmia. At the end of the measurement, an ECG-like strip is available and can be sent to the patients’ or Preventicus’ inhouse physician for confirmation.

A powerful tool for AF patients

The Heartbeats app has been tested in several studies. The results proved that the app worked quite well; in fact, it correctly detects AF 98% of the time! This app is a real gamechanger for AF patients – they can check their heartbeat whenever they feel unwell without the need for special equipment or expensive smartwatches. We feel that the cost of 27 euros is entirely worth it for the features and ease of use of this app. And what’s better in these times of social distancing – acquiring it requires no physical contact!

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