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15.01.20

New implantable cardiac monitor being reviewed by NICE for NHS use

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published draft guidelines on a new implantable monitor that transmits data to doctors remotely, potentially preventing hundreds of strokes from occurring.

The innovative monitor, Reveal LINQ, identifies more people who have atrial fibrillation after a stroke with no identified cause, known as a cryptogenic stroke. Once identified, they can begin treatment for their atrial fibrillation to reduce the risk of another stroke.

The monitor, which is a third of the size of a AAA battery, is the first device of its kind to be recommended by NICE for use within the NHS and is implanted under the skin in the chest under local anaesthetic.

This then tracks the heart’s activity over long periods of time, transmitting data back to the patient’s doctor through a mobile phone network.

30,000 cryptogenic strokes occur each year in the UK, of which a significant portion are attributed to undiagnosed atrial fibrillation.

Meindert Boysen, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said:

“This is an innovative monitor which has the potential to reduce the number of strokes suffered by those with atrial fibrillation.

“It may mean fewer hospital visits for those with atrial fibrillation; reduce the need for rehabilitation and mean patients are reassured that AF will be detected in a timely manner so treatment can begin.

“This device can provide a level of reassurance to those who live in fear of having another stroke and we believe Reveal LINQ is likely to be a cost-effective use of NHS resources.”

Data presented to the NICE diagnostics advisory committee showed atrial fibrillation after a cryptogenic stroke was detected in five times more people who had the monitor implanted than those who didn’t over a six-month period.

A consultation on the draft recommendations is now underway until Feb 4 2020 with an expected publication date of May 27 2020.

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