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Tech firms integrate for Leicester AF virtual ward project

Health tech specialist Dignio has linked up with AliveCor to integrate its KardiaMobile device into the MyDignio smartphone app. The move will allow seamless transmission of electrocardiograms (ECG) recorded by patients in the community direct to clinicians.

Dignio is already working with University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, which is running one of the first virtual wards to monitor and manage patients with Atrial Fibrillation, a revolutionary project which has created virtual beds.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients admitted to hospital experiencing abnormal heart rhythms could spend two or more days in hospital with close monitoring to assess response to the treatment received. With a ‘connected care’ solution, like Dignio, suitable patients can now stay in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by friends and family whilst reducing the need to be managed in the hospital.

While the KardiaMobile device is a vital part of the ‘at home’ monitoring process, the method for transferring ECG data back to clinicians monitoring patients on the virtual ward can be challenging for some patients. Now the MyDignio app and KardiaMobile have been integrated, making the transfer of data much easier and faster.

Ewa Truchanowic, Dignio Managing Director, said “This integration brings two user-friendly technologies together, to ensure a seamless patient experience. Digital exclusion is reduced, and a wide range of patients can benefit from being treated at home. Equally importantly the clinicians get an optimised view of the ECG, enabling them to adjust how, when and where to best deliver their care.”

The MyDignio app, automatically sends a patient’s readings direct to clinicians via a special data platform. The app connects, via Bluetooth, to several devices, including blood pressure monitors and pulse oximeters, and now it also connects to KardiaMobile.

KardiaMobile gives patients the ability to detect some of the most common arrhythmias, including AF. The device gives an accurate analysis of a patients’ ECG recording, which can be sent via the MyDignio app direct to clinicians.

Sean Warren, Business Director UKI at AliveCor said: “Our mission is to save lives and transform cardiology by delivering intelligent, highly-personalised heart data to clinicians and patients anytime, anywhere. Collaborating with like-minded partners such as Dignio brings patients and clinicians closer together, enabling people to take charge of their own health with the best technology available.”

The virtual ward project running at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust service gives patients the opportunity to be managed and recuperate in their own homes, whilst their heart rhythm settles back to normal, but with the peace of mind that they’re still being monitored by specialist clinicians.

Professor Andre Ng, Consultant Cardiologist at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Head of Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester, leads the project together with colleagues, Sue Armstrong, advanced nurse practitioner and Dr Ahmed Kotb, research fellow. Prof Ng said: “Thanks to the collaboration of our digital partners Dignio and AliveCor, we now have a single interface for ECG recording and vital data capture which simplifies and streamlines the whole process for the patient. This is a very welcome progression for the AF virtual ward.”

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