New iPhone accessory may help in fight against strokes

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People who have a family history of heart disease may benefit from a recent development from the University of Sydney. An iPhone case and app have been created that can quickly detect heart problems and prevent strokes, according to research presented at the Australian and New Zealand Cardiac Society conference. Innovations such as this highlight just how important iPhone repair could be if something goes wrong with the smartphone device.

The AliveCor Heart Monitor for iPhone was found to be highly-effective, accurate and helps save costs for helping to screen patients who may have atrial fibrillation, something professor Ben Freedman said was a big breakthrough in preventing serious heart maladies.

“Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm problem and is responsible for almost one third of all strokes,” he said. “AF increases with age, affecting more than 15 percent of people aged 85 years and over. And people with atrial fibrillation face up to a fivefold increased risk of stroke, and tend to have more severe and life-threatening strokes.”

In Australia, Freedman said 1.4 percent of people over 65 have AF and do not know it, putting them at a higher risk of stroke. Apps and tools like this can allow the highly preventable disease as once doctors know a patient has AF they can treat them with medication that reduces the risk 66 percent.

Accessories can help with disease recognition
The report's lead author Nicole Lowres said the knowledge gap patients have regarding this disease is surprising, making such tools important over the next many years. She told the conference that over half of the people with AF were undiagnosed, according to the University of Sydney website.

“The iECG can be viewed on the phone screen and also used as an educational tool to teach people about their heart rhythm,” Lowres said. “Our economic analysis has shown the iECG is highly cost effective, and in fact, this is the first mass screening program for AF likely to be cost effective, unlike traditional 12 lead ECGs recorded by a practice nurse.”

The University of California San Francisco recently launched the Health eHeart Study which will look to better understand how the heart functions. Heidi Dohse, who had a pacemaker implanted into her body at the age of 19, said one of the hardest things is to know what is going on, but she is working with the study and is able to use an AliveCor heart monitor attached to her phone case and see EKG screenings from her smartphone. Treating disease is one of many important uses of this device that calls for a working knowledge of how to get iPhone repair.

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