AF Association confirms patient benefits of mobile self-monitoring: atrial fibrillation
The UK Atrial Fibrillation Association took a recent survey. It uncovers patient needs about self-monitoring their conditions versus clinical visits. The results we as follows:
- 87% said that they would gain much more freedom when travelling
- 79% would rather self-monitor than go to clinic visits
- 74% felt that having Patient Self Monitoring (PSM) with wireless connectivity to their clinic, allowing them to take a reading on the move, would be very “appealing”.
New freedoms through self-monitoring…
Firstly, atrial fibrillation is the most common heart arrhythmia and affects around 800,000 people in the UK.
Secondly, coagulometers enable people taking long term anti-blood clotting drugs to monitor blood clotting themselves. In combination with apps, they can now do this anywhere.
Following on, the patient group survey found that 64% of patients:
- have to visit clinics at least monthly
- feel that clinic visits impact their time and finances.
The survey, funded by Roche without control over the content, confirmed that people value the freedom and convenience of mobile self-monitoring:
“Nearly 80% of patients would want to self-monitor, giving them independence when travelling for work or pleasure. This innovation helps to empower patients to take control of their therapy and reduce the number of clinic visits that they have to make, saving both time and money”. – Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of the AF Association
Mobile connectivity through apps:
There is an increased trend in using the connectivity of mobile apps to enable medical devices to be used by patients wherever they want.
In atrial fibrillation, there have been several clinical trials into Patient Self Monitoring (PSMs), and UK NICE has recommended a couple of examples, with the following conditions:
- “The person prefers this form of testing.
- The person or their carer is both physically and cognitively able to self-monitor effectively.
- Patients and carers should be trained in the effective use of the…system.
- Clinicians involved in their care should regularly review their ability to self-monitor.
- Equipment for self-monitoring should be regularly checked.” – NICE Diagnostics Guidance DG14, September 2014: Atrial fibrillation and heart valve disease: self‑monitoring coagulation status using point‑of‑care coagulometers
More than 70% of the patients responding to the UK patient group survey were aged 65 or over. This suggests there is no age barrier to those wanting freedom of the new technologies.
How apps help now…
In addition, apps are becoming increasingly available, linked to the meters patients use to self-monitor.
For example, in the United States, the Roche CoaguChek Xs Mpoc app, patients:
- test a blood sample on special strips
- put the sample into their meter
- use the app to send their results to their healthcare professional.
In the UK, patients have tested an app called My Inhealthcare for INR (International Normalised Ratio) self-testing with their local NHS trust. One patient cited the difference this made:
“This new app is really positive for anyone that is still working. It’s extended my working life really because…previously I was having to work around diary dates to get me to the clinic. Now I can test in the morning at home…I can test myself on the train going up and down from London.” – Martin Smith, patient
Find out more about an example of an app used in the United States…
Find out more about the Atrial Fibrillation Association patient survey…
Find out more about the UK NICE evaluation of self-monitoring systems…
Find out more about the My Inhealthcare app at myhealthapps.net…