There is growing interest in an innovative thumb-electrocardiogram (ECG) system for remote arrhythmia investigation and stroke prevention (Zenicor-ECG, Zenicor Medical Systems), which apparently detects up to four times more atrial fibrillation than a conventional Holter ECG.
The device is currently in use in over 300 clinics, mainly in Scandinavia and Germany, with reference installations in the UK. Central to its evidence base is the STROKESTOP study,1 a randomised controlled trial containing 13,000 individuals which resulted in 5.1 % new oral anticoagulation (OAC) candidates being identified.
All citizens aged 75–76 years in the capital region of Stockholm and the more rural municipality of, Halland were invited to participate in a systematic primary preventive screening programme for atrial fibrillation. Based on the results, 5.1% of the screened population (367 of 7,173 persons) were found to be new candidates for OAC treatment.
Speaking to BJC Arrhythmia Watch, Mira Pasanen, Country Sales Manager for Zenicor Medical Systems UK, explained how the thumb-ECG functions: “In the current software version, the system will not give a diagnosis. What the software automatically calculates is RR variability, QTc and heart rate. There are additional tools such a built in calliper, and you can adjust the speed and sensitivity of the ECG strip”.
“Every device has its own SIM card. The ECGs use GPRS from the device to the central database for interpretation. In the central database patients are linked to the devices (ID). This is done before any ECGs are sent…To access the ECG you pay a monthly license fee per device to use our ‘Doctors System’ software. You have your encrypted clinic page that can be access with a username. No software needs to be installed,” she continued.
“There is a cost per device and a monthly license fee for the device. The pricing depends on how many units will be purchased. We also rent out devices if you wish to do a research project. Then you pay for the use per device (per annum) and return the devices after the project…The thumb ECG device is available in UK and the device and software are CE marked (Class IIa),” Ms Pasanen added.
1. Svennberg E, Engdahl J, Al-Khalili F, Friberg L, Frykman V, Rosenqvist M. Mass screening for untreated atrial fibrillation: the STROKESTOP study. Circulation 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.014343
Published on: November 24, 2015
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