National test bed working with local pharmacies to trial early testing of AF using NHS Innovation Accelerator’s AliveCor’s Kardia

Care City launches its Atrial Fibrillation Pathway at this year’s EXPO 2017. The Pilot Model finds people with undiagnosed AF in local pharmacies, reduces appointments and waiting times to treat them, and offers a cost-effective way to prevent 1600 strokes across England.

An irregular heartbeat, clinically referred to as an Atrial Fibrillation (AF), is the most common heart rhythm disturbance. Half of people in London with AF are unaware they have the condition, or that they face a five times higher stroke risk as a result.

Care City is one of seven National Health and social care test beds funded by NHS England and is the only one in London. Working with local pharmacies, it is trialling early testing of AF using a Kardia Mobile handheld mobile device from AliveCor, which can spot AF in 30-seconds. Those with an abnormal result receive a rapid referral to a One Stop AF Clinic at Whipps Cross University Hospital where a patient will undergo minimally invasive diagnostic tests and meet with an Arrhythmia Nurse to discuss the result and, if appropriate, receive treatment. The whole process takes 2-3 weeks, compared to a national average of 12 weeks at present. The Pilot is a collaboration between Care City, North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee, Barts Health NHS Trust, Waltham Forest CCG and Sonar Informatics.

Nearly 700 patients have already been screened for atrial fibrillation as part of the Care City’s NHS England Test Bed since it launched last year. Of these, approximately 7% were identified to have Atrial Fibrillation. Independent evaluators from University College London, say: “Preliminary health economic modelling indicates that combining innovative screening for atrial fibrillation in community pharmacies for the 65s and over with a rapid access clinic offers a cost-effective strategy, reducing strokes at a comparatively low cost. If replicated across England, an estimated 1600 – 1700 strokes would be prevented per year.”

John Craig, Chief Executive, Care City commented: “We’re proud to launch our new AF Pathway at EXPO and show how we’re collaborating with technology and all levels of the health and care community with a common endeavour to assist patients to pro-actively manage their health and ultimately save lives. The data we collect from this testing, will indicate how many people use the service, leave with a diagnosis and start treatment. It will also help us understand whether the service is good value for the NHS and whether adopting this one stop shop approach further across the UK is an effective and viable option.”

Emily Hough, Director of Strategy at NHS England commented: “It is great to see combinatorial innovation in action in Care City as they bring together new technologies with changes in the way care is offered to patients. This new enhanced AF pathway should lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment, ultimately offering improved outcomes for patients. We look forward to continuing to support Care City, and thinking about how we can scale this approach if it does deliver improved outcomes for patients at the same or less cost.”

Kardia Mobile from AliveCor is one of a number of sophisticated innovations that the Care City Test Bed is collaborating with to support people with long term conditions, dementia and their carers.

NHS Innovation Accelerator companies HealthUnlocked and Join Dementia Research are included in this list.

  • The Canary Care monitoring and notification system aims to provide round the clock reassurance to family members whilst allowing older or vulnerable people to stay at home.
  • GaitSmart’s gait analysis tool applies micro sensor technology to movement, identifies areas of issue in the patient’s mobility and provides personalised exercise programmes.
  • The HealthUnlocked Social Prescribing tool enables health professionals to signpost or prescribe local support services and other beneficial resources that relate to holistic needs or conditions
  • Join Dementia Research supports local people to register their interest in participating in dementia research and allows them to be matched to suitable studies in their area and wider afield.
  • Kinesis QTUG™ is a fast and efficient tool for identifying older adults at risk of falling, using precise and accurate body movement sensors.
  • St Bernard’s GPS based Emergency Location Service aims to reassure both the individual and their carer/s and family.

For more information about the Care City Test Bed, visit