New Monitoring Technology for Atrial Fibrillation Works Towards Patient Safety and Individualized Management

New Monitoring Technology for Atrial Fibrillation Works Towards Patient Safety and Individualized Management

A team of researchers from Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Biomedical Engineering Institute and Vilnius University (VU) Santaros Clinics in Lithuania have collaborated to develop a patient-safe monitoring technology for the identification and management of atrial fibrillation. This collaboration aims to address the increasing prevalence of atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder globally.

Atrial fibrillation affects approximately 33 million people worldwide and is expected to double in prevalence due to an aging population. Timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial as untreated atrial fibrillation can lead to severe complications, such as stroke. The disease often begins with self-terminating episodes known as “paroxysmal episodes,” which can be treated through non-medication means if detected early.

To meet the needs of the public and contemporary medicine, the researchers at KTU BMEI have been working on atrial fibrillation monitoring technology for over a decade. Their efforts have resulted in novel technological advancements. One of these advancements is a smart bracelet with an algorithm that can identify atrial fibrillation. This device has been utilized in the TriggersAF project, funded by the EU Structural Funds.

The TriggersAF project aims to develop and test methods for patients to identify their personal arrhythmia triggers. These triggers can be influenced by modifiable factors such as alcohol consumption, increased physical activity, stress, and sleep disturbances. By identifying and avoiding these individual triggers, non-pharmaceutical intervention methods for arrhythmia management can be determined.

Clinicians, such as cardiologist Justinas Bacevičius from VU Santaros Clinic, have contributed their expertise to the project. Bacevičius notes that there is a link between sleep disorders and the onset of arrhythmia, even in patients without diagnosed sleep apnea.

The researchers have also developed a unique database, which includes recorded physiological signals and potential arrhythmia-provoking factors entered by patients in a mobile app. This database has allowed them to test their developed method and identify individual arrhythmia-provoking factors.

Technology to individually identify these factors has been lacking due to inconveniences for patients, such as wearing uncomfortable sensors or filling out extensive questionnaires. However, the proposed technology allows patients to input their potential triggers through a mobile app, making it more patient-friendly.

The success of this project has attracted the attention of an international consortium funded by the European Metrology Association, leading to further collaboration opportunities and the continued development of this monitoring technology. With the advancements made in individualized management of atrial fibrillation, patients can receive timely care and reduce the risk of complications associated with this condition.

FAQ

1. What is the goal of the collaboration between Kaunas University of Technology and Vilnius University?
– The goal of the collaboration is to develop a patient-safe monitoring technology for the identification and management of atrial fibrillation.

2. What is atrial fibrillation?
– Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder globally, affecting approximately 33 million people worldwide. It is characterized by irregular and often rapid heart rate.

3. Why is timely diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation important?
– Timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial because untreated atrial fibrillation can lead to severe complications, such as stroke.

4. What are paroxysmal episodes?
– Paroxysmal episodes are self-terminating episodes of atrial fibrillation. They can be treated through non-medication means if detected early.

5. What technological advancements have the researchers at KTU BMEI made?
– The researchers at KTU BMEI have developed a smart bracelet with an algorithm that can identify atrial fibrillation.

6. What is the TriggersAF project?
– The TriggersAF project aims to develop and test methods for patients to identify their personal arrhythmia triggers, which can be influenced by factors such as alcohol consumption, increased physical activity, stress, and sleep disturbances.

7. What role do clinicians play in the project?
– Clinicians, such as cardiologist Justinas Bacevičius, have contributed their expertise to the project. They have noted a link between sleep disorders and the onset of arrhythmia.

8. How have the researchers developed a database to test their method?
– The researchers have developed a unique database that includes recorded physiological signals and potential arrhythmia-provoking factors entered by patients in a mobile app.

9. How does the proposed technology make it more patient-friendly?
– The proposed technology allows patients to input their potential triggers through a mobile app, eliminating the inconveniences of wearing uncomfortable sensors or filling out extensive questionnaires.

10. What are the potential benefits of the monitoring technology?
– The monitoring technology allows for individualized management of atrial fibrillation, providing patients with timely care and reducing the risk of complications associated with the condition.

Definitions

– Atrial fibrillation: The most common heart rhythm disorder characterized by irregular and often rapid heart rate.
– Paroxysmal episodes: Self-terminating episodes of atrial fibrillation.
– Arrhythmia: Any irregularity in the heart’s rhythm.
– Modifiable factors: Factors that can be influenced or changed, such as alcohol consumption, physical activity, stress, and sleep disturbances.

Related Links

Kaunas University of Technology
Vilnius University

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