Background: Little attention has focused on the integration of mobile health (mHealth) technology with self-management approaches to improve the detection and management of atrial fibrillation (AF) in clinical practice.
Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the differences between mHealth and usual care over a 6-month follow-up period among patients with a known history of atrial fibrillation.
Methods: A pilot cohort from within the larger ongoing randomized trial, iPhone® Helping Evaluate Atrial fibrillation Rhythm through Technology (iHEART), was evaluated to determine differences in detection of AF and atrial flutter (AFL) recurrence rates (following treatment to restore normal rhythm) between patients undergoing daily smartphone ECG monitoring and age and gender matched control patients. SF-36v2TM QoL assessments were administered at baseline and 6 months to a subset of the patients undergoing daily ECG monitoring. Differences between groups were assessed by t-test, Fisher’s exact test, and Cox proportional hazard models.
Results: Among the 23 patients with smartphone ECG monitors (16 males and 7 females, mean age 55 + 10), 14 (61%) had detection of recurrent AF/AFL versus 30% of controls. During the follow-up period, patients given smartphone ECG monitors were more than twice as likely to have an episode of recurrent AF/AFL detected (hazard ratio: 2.55; 95% CI: 1.06 – 6.11; p = 0.04). Among the 13 patients with baseline and 6 month QoL assessments, significant improvements were observed in the physical functioning (p = 0.009), role physical (p = 0.007), vitality (p = 0.03), and mental health domains (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Cardiac mHealth self-monitoring is a feasible and effective mechanism for enhancing AF/AFL detection that improves quality of life.
Credits: Kathleen T. Hickey, Angelo B. Biviano, Hasan Garan, Robert R. Sciacca, Teresa Riga, Kate Warren, Ashton P. Frulla, Nicole R. Hauser, Daniel Y. Wang, William Whang