Improved detection of atrial fibrillation can reduce stroke events

19 March 2018 (Last Updated March 19th, 2018 15:38)

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson revealed ground-breaking results from a recent study, showing that wearable continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring patches were able to detect asymptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) earlier and more efficiently than routine care.

Improved detection of atrial fibrillation can reduce stroke events
Wearable devices are becoming increasingly popular, allowing both the user and their physician to continuously monitor symptoms. Credit: KamenG

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson revealed ground-breaking results from a recent study, showing that wearable continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring patches were able to detect asymptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) earlier and more efficiently than routine care. These results could lead to improvements in stroke prevention and comprehensive care.

Patients with AF have an increased risk of stroke and are associated with poorer stroke outcomes; almost 15% of all ischemic strokes are caused by atrial fibrillation and 60% of such strokes lead to permanent disability. While AF is a common and preventable cause of stroke, there are many barriers to detecting AF during routine care; namely, the irregularity or absence of symptoms in patients with AF.

Wearable devices are becoming increasingly popular, providing both the user and their primary care physician the ability to continuously monitor symptoms to detect even diseases that have irregular patterns of symptoms. The study by Janssen looked at 1,738 patients undergoing continuous ECG monitoring using a patch over four weeks. Results showed that “AF was newly diagnosed in 6.3% of patients wearing the ECG monitoring patch compared to 2.3% in the control group receiving routine care.” With a better detection rate, patients will be able to receive timely care for AF before the disease progresses to a severe form, leading to health complications and potentially ischemic stroke.

In addition to early treatment for managing AF, clinical trials have also shown the effectiveness of anticoagulation, a drug regularly used in stroke therapy, in patients with AF leading to a significant reduction in strokes. Including stroke therapy in the early to moderate stages of AF can maximise the prevention of stroke, protecting patients and reducing the burden to the healthcare system as a whole.

Improvements in the detection of AF will increase the patient population eligible for treatment through drugs or electrophysiology ablation procedures. As innovation in the electrophysiology field continues to refine ablation procedures to produce better patient outcomes more efficiently, GlobalData believes that the results of this study can lead to faster growth within the electrophysiology ablation market.