In the USA, it has been estimated that every 40 seconds a person suffers a stroke. Worldwide prevalence of stroke is estimated to be over 33 million, with over 17 million people having a first stroke. Stroke was the second-leading global cause of death behind heart disease, accounting for 11% of total deaths worldwide.
Atrial fibrillation is a cardiac arrhythmia of particular concern as it has been implicated as a major cause of stroke. One in ten adults over 60 years of age has atrial fibrillation, with incidence rising rapidly with age. It is also often associated with sleep apnoea which is the sleep disorder targeted by Alerte’s sleep system. This presents some clear synergies for market applications. Atrial fibrillation can be difficult to detect due to its intermittent nature and absence of symptoms. However, drug therapies are available to significantly reduce the risk of stroke if atrial fibrillation is detected early.
The most common rhythm abnormality of the heart is called Atrial Fibrillation. The most feared complication of Atrial Fibrillation is Stroke.
This setup involves lots of leads, cables, and the person is really tethered
to the bed.
Current cardiac monitoring techniques include 12 lead ECG measurement, various implantable devices, short term wearable ECG monitors (such as Holter type monitors) and event recorders such as the AliveCor device.
Each of these techniques has its own limitations in detecting and recording potentially dangerous arrhythmias. If the ECG measurement is very short term or not continuous (such as 12 lead ECG and event recorders), there is a significant risk that an intermittent condition such as Atrial Fibrillation will be missed. In the case of short term continuous cardiac monitors which lack live arrhythmia detection and notification, there is a delay between the recording of cardiac data and its analysis and interpretation.
Alerte’s cardiac monitoring system utilises a wearable device capable of detecting electrocardiogram (ECG) signals in real-time. This allows heart rate (including heart rate variability), and heart rhythm to be measured. The device is suitable for long term monitoring of cardiac rhythms, currently over ten hours at a time, without the need for device implantation or a bulky and inconvenient Holter monitor style format.
The Alerte system provides continuous monitoring and streaming to micro-servers and is integrated with web and mobile devices. This allows integration with Alerte’s A.I. system which is capable of recognising arrhythmia and other cardiac conditions. The Alerte’s cardiac system has been trained to recognise potentially dangerous cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation.
Clinical validation is now underway to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system in both a clinical environment and for ambulatory patients. Alerte’s technology will provide a non-invasive continuous cardiac monitoring system with real time feedback that is both easy to use and can alert the user to potentially dangerous arrhythmias. Furthermore, it will provide a method for accurate measurement of heart rate variation which is not currently available with current wearable devices. The system is potentially suitable for use in both a clinical setting in and the home.
Alerte’s cardiac monitoring system could also be more general use particularly applicable to patients over the age of 55 years who are undergoing screening for atrial fibrillation. However, the system will be of general use for patients in who have been referred to cardiologists and respiratory physicians, and in particular those suffering from palpitations or prior arrhythmia as well as patients with high risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The predictive algorithms developed by Alerte for detection of atrial fibrillation and its live streaming technology could also be utilised by other cardiac monitoring companies to improve the functionality of their systems and provide real time alerts to patients.
Alerte’s Cardiac Platform is much simpler and more comfortable for the user.