Taking cardiology out of the clinic
We live our lives outside the clinic, but until recently, cardiological diagnostic testing such as electrocardiography took place primarily within the confines of a medical office or hospital. As a result, physicians and scientists had access to just a trickle of data, which painted an incomplete — or even inaccurate — picture. The Scripps Research Digital Trials Center has been a trailblazer for a new approach, using connected wearable sensors that allow for continuous monitoring during everyday activities.
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a significant cause of illness and death, increasing the risk of stroke by 400%. It is also largely preventable, when treated promptly with proven therapies. Unfortunately, symptoms may appear sporadically, delaying a correct diagnosis and initiation of potentially lifesaving treatment.
Our mSToPS (mHealth Screening To Prevent Strokes) trial, launched in 2015, solved this problem by equipping participants with an AFib-detecting ECG-sensor patch that could be worn 24 hours a day up to 14 days. It was the first AFib study to be conducted entirely at home, without any need to visit a medical facility. After a year of follow-up, the research team determined that mSToPS participants were three times more likely to be accurately diagnosed with AFib, compared with those who had received usual care.