Deducing Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Atrial Fibrillation: Implementing Wearable Biosensors & Its Clinical Outcomes

Posted on September 21, 2022

Better known as AF or AFib, Atrial Fibrillation is set to reach 12.1 million cases by 2030 across the US alone. Afib, which causes an overly fast and irregular heartbeat that can over the long run lead to dangerous blood clots in the heart, remains a thorn in the foot to detect. It continues to claim more lives each year, with 183,321 fatalities related to this arrhythmia in 2019 alone. However, wearable biosensors devices might just be what’s needed to change this sorry state of affairs, and here’s how they can chip in to help bring to the fore both symptomatic and asymptomatic Atrial Fibrillation.

Symptomatic Afib and the role of wearable biosensors

Some of the time, arrhythmias can manifest quite visibly in patients. It’s quite commonplace for people suffering from atrial fibrillation, in particular, to display the following symptoms:

    1. A prevalent feeling of fatigue that doesn’t fade even with rest
    2. Respiratory difficulties or labored breathing
    3. Dizziness and heart palpitations may also creep in, among others

Patients with suspected Afib symptoms need to first get a hold of their physicians before they can draw a conclusion. Your doctor may keep tabs on your pulse, and any weak or erratic heartbeats may further point toward the possibility of the patient having Atrial Fibrillation. Patients who notice any sign of bleeding, through stained urine, stool, or vomits, should instantly reach out for help.

However, many other types of arrhythmias have largely overlapping symptoms. Even beyond arrhythmias, other diseases can give off similar symptoms to Atrial fibrillation, which is where wearable biosensors come in handy.

To make a solid and substantiated conclusion that would enable the next appropriate course of action, your physician may recommend an event recorder. This portable and wearable biosensor allows your doctor to get more details about your condition, beyond the restrictions of a conventional ECG test that doesn’t monitor your heart’s activity past a physician’s office.

Additionally, an event record may be patient-activated. The device can trigger a recording session by way of a button press, and the physician can read the data from the electrical activity, as at the time of the symptoms. Such wearable biosensors are especially recommended in Afib cases where the symptoms occur infrequently.

Wearable biosensors become ever more pivotal with asymptomatic A-Fib

Afib can manifest itself by way of the symptoms and signs we’ve talked about and more, but not always so. Unfortunately, in some cases, the symptoms can so subtle, near non-existent really, that even patients may not suspect that anything’s the matter. And this is the most dangerous type often referred to as Silent Afib.

Another reason why this type of arrhythmia flies under the radar is that it occurs sporadically. In other words, the irregularities are few and far between that they may be missed by a standard in-person ECG test. As a result, silent Afib places the patient at increased risk of:

    1. Stroke, which is caused by the blood clots brought about by Afib
    2. Heart failure due to the long-term damage that untreated Afib can have on the heart muscles
    3. Weakness and fatigue due to the heart giving out, which makes the patient unable to get through the tasks of daily living without assistance

To get around all these problems that result from delayed treatment, doctors may prescribe that their patients get heart monitoring services by way of a wearable biosensor such as those that we provide here at Cardiac Rhythm.

The device is fastened onto the patient’s chest, enabling round-the-clock monitoring of heart vitals, a process that expedites your doctor’s investigation process if they suspect an arrhythmia. Patients have absolutely nothing to fear as the fitting process is a non-invasive and painless procedure that won’t get in the way of their daily routine.

How wearable biosensors improve clinical outcomes for Afib patients

Lower risk of heart failure and stroke

Studies today link atrial fibrillation to 31.2% of stroke cases. In fact, reports by the NIH even paint a more dire picture, revealing that patients with Afib are at a 600% increased risk of stroke compared to the rest of the population.

However, usually, by the time Afib culminates in heart failure or stroke, then it must have gone unattended for quite a while. Wearable biosensors can ensure that that isn’t the case, helping to pick out atrial fibrillation long before blood clots develop and heart muscles become damaged to the point of no return.

Reduced rate of hospital admissions

In the US alone everyone, over 454,000 Afib hospitalizations are recorded. That’s close to half a million people winding up in a hospital bed, incurring hefty hospitalization expenses, in addition to spending time apart from loved ones.

However, the solution is within reach for all. Wearable biosensors, as part of a large RPM solution, have been shown to result in:

    1. 41% fewer phone calls
    2. 47% fewer physician visits
    3. 49% reduction in length of stay
    4. 50% reduction in readmissions

Wearable biosensors allow physicians access to a wealth of heart data and then some, which enables excellent turnaround for clinical decisions before an adverse event sends the patient to the ER.

Improved mobility and quality of life

With the heart, the damage comes fatigued or weakness which generally gets in the way of the patient’s quality of life, due to resulting problems with mobility. Moreover, with more than 1 in 5 patients noticing severe escalation of Afib progression from intermediate to persistent in just 365 days, it becomes even more important that management of the condition is done as early as possible.

Wearable biosensors make that possible, allowing for early clinical intervention. This lessens the structural damage to the heart that, when left unchecked, makes Afib much more difficult to remedy. In the end, severe mobility complications are avoided altogether.

Arrhythmias can’t wait. So shouldn’t you!

Sadly, the reason why many patients lose the fight to Afib and other arrhythmias at large is that they always act too late. By the time arrhythmia symptoms kick in, often the damage has already been dealt and your heart may be giving out. You don’t need to be backed into a corner by your symptoms before getting tested. Take a proactive approach to secure your heart health today by getting tested even if you feel “perfectly fine.” Should you require assistance acquiring wearable biosensors or getting an ECG test, contact Cardiac Rhythm today.

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