Opportunistic Pulse Checks using AliveCor

Project Lead: Nikki Holdsworth

Pulse checks can detect people with undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation (AF), so they can be identified and treated for their condition. There are an estimated 20,000+ people with undiagnosed AF in the NENC area. Implementation of the AliveCor device across the region aims to help to find these patients.

‘It’s not just heart rate but heart rhythm!’

AliveCor is a small, simple, NICE approved, handheld device comprising of two pads which, when pressed by the patient, records a single lead rhythm strip; this takes only 30 seconds to use.

AliveCor works in conjunction with a free App which is downloaded onto a mobile device (phone or tablet). No patient identifiable data is stored.

Anyone working in healthcare can use AliveCor, including GPs, Practice Nurses, Healthcare Assistants, GP Receptionists, Community Pharmacists, Specialist Nurses, Podiatrists and many more.

AliveCor provides:

  • A 1-lead rhythm strip indicating whether the patient has a normal or abnormal heart rhythm
  • The flexibility to save and share results by email and download into the notes of a patient
  • Specificity rates up to 97% (compared to 60-70% for traditional methods)
  • Sensitivity rates are above 85%
  • Potential to increase Quality and Outcomes Framework (QoF) payments by helping to find patients with AF
  • 100+ hours of use so no need for charging.

“‘I regularly use AliveCor as part of my routine appointments. I have found it very useful during health checks, CVD assessment and hypertension reviews. The device is very easy to use and I have picked up otherwise undetected AF which is now being treated successfully.”

Clare O’Neill, Practice Nurse, Park Parade Surgery, Whitley Bay

Using AliveCor in Your Practice

  1. Contact Nikki Holdsworth, Project Lead, on nikki.holdsworth@ahsn-nenc.org.uk to register your interest
  2. Read the project governance documents
  3. Obtain your AliveCor device and supporting documentation by attending a 1.5 hour training session
  4. Download the app (App Store/Play Store)
  5. Watch the AliveCor training video below.

AF Scratchcards

Innovative scratch cards have been developed to be used in community pharmacies who are undertaking pulse checks in a campaign to find patients who have undiagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF). A quick pulse check can detect whether someone has an irregular pulse which could indicate AF or other heart arrhythmias. The scratch card uses the same principles as a lottery one, but scratch off panels relate to nine questions. Anyone who reveals a heart symbol, when they scratch off a panel, needs to take the card to the pharmacy where they picked it up and ask for a pulse check. The card was designed by the AHSN NENC with input from patient groups and pharmacists. It is endorsed by the Stroke Association and the British Heart Foundation. Please contact nikki.holdsworth@ahsn-nenc.org.uk to find out more

This video has been developed to help and support healthcare professionals who have an AliveCor device.