Remote monitoring and telehealth have taken a giant leap due to the pandemic and patients have pivoted to use remote services.
Leveraging this, NetOptAwario launched its new Awario product at the 31st Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) of the Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association (ACRA) 2022 in Queensland last week. Awario’s Dr Tuomas Rissanen spoke virtually at the international plenary about arrhythmia detection.
Awario is a remote arrhythmia monitoring platform that provides a rapid, reliable and effortless way to monitor and analyse a patient’s heart rhythm using artificial intelligence (AI).
The Awario platform consists of a portable hand-held monitoring device which communicates with the Awario smartphone application.
Using AI technology, Awario produces both a high-quality and reliable chest ECG (electrocardiogram) recording and associated analysis, which leads to multiple implementation possibilities.
The information is relayed remotely to the cardiologist who can create a data-driven, personalised care plan that is delivered via telehealth.
Critically, Awario’s AI technology allows the remote detection, diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias even before the onset of any symptoms or health effects.
The Awario platform is specifically designed to reduce the workload of healthcare providers. By enabling remote patient monitoring, it can be used for cost-effective arrhythmia screening programs for early detection and prevention of cardiac events and stroke. It can be used at all times and at all locations.
It is certified in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as a Class 11a medical system and is certified as a medical device in the EU.
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm caused by a fault in the heart’s electrical system, which affects its ability to pump regularly.
There are many types heart arrhythmias. Most arrhythmias are not life-threatening and can be well managed as a long-term condition by a cardiologist. Other arrhythmias are life-threatening and require urgent treatment. Sometimes, an arrhythmia is a symptom of an underlying condition that requires medical management or treatment.
The most common kind of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation which causes an irregular and often fast heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation affects ~2% of the population, equivalent to more than 500,000 Australians, and this risk increases with age to ~5% of the elderly population.
Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of serious complications, the most dangerous of which is a stroke. In a stroke, a blocked cerebral artery causes the brain to be deprived of blood and oxygen, causing brain cells to die in minutes. A stroke is a medical emergency that can cause permanent brain damage or even death.
People with atrial fibrillation are five times more likely to have a stroke than those without. Before COVID, atrial fibrillation was the cause of death for over 14,000 (or 9.0% of total deaths) in Australia each year.
Currently, one Australian experiences a stroke roughly every 19 minutes. It is predicted that without action, this will increase to one stroke every 10 minutes by 2050.
That is why the early diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation are so important.
A heart arrhythmia is usually diagnosed by a doctor by examining a patient presenting with symptoms, reviewing their medical history and performing heart-monitoring tests such as an ECG.
This can be time consuming for both doctors and patients and requires specialised equipment which are not always available.
The Awario platform makes it possible to remotely identify four different types of arrhythmias: atrial fibrillation, ventricular extrasystoles, and low and high resting heart rate. This can be done rapidly and without a cardiologist present.
Importantly, Awario AI analytics detect arrhythmias with very high sensitivity and specificity, minimizing the number of false positive alarms. In its clinical validation, the Awario platform was shown to detect atrial fibrillation with 98% sensitivity and 99% specificity.
Awario has numerous benefits, including:
Easy to use and carry
Awario guides users through the monitoring process and shows the results of the analysis in an understandable form. The small measuring device is portable and hand-held, so it is easy to carry to between work, home and while travelling.
Monitoring and analysis powered by AI
The Awario system generates a rapid, reliable and accurate ECG report to for early detection of arrhythmias.
Useful for screening
The Awario can be used for high-risk and low-risk patients. According to the 2020 European Society of Cardiology Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of atrial fibrillation, systematic ECG screening using Awario can be considered to detect atrial fibrillation in patients aged 75 years and over.
Backed by clinical trials
Backed by rigorous scientific data, the Awario platform has been developed based on years of scientific research and clinical trials. The Awario team is led by distinguished Professors and A/Professors of Cardiology, with years of expertise and hundreds of published research papers between them.
Ideal for rural and remote cardiology
Because it is simple to use, hand-held and portable, Awario’s platform is a real game changer in Australia, especially for rural and remote areas. It allows the early detection of arrhythmias for a wide range of users. In regional communities, Awario can be operated by GPs, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals and even members of the general public.
NetOptAwario was established in 2015 by Finnish doctors. The company is focused on early detection of heart and brain related health problems using intelligent algorithms. The ACRA ASM is Australia’s premier conference for health professionals providing cardiovascular care.