FibriCheck, a Belgium-based heart rhythm app maker, announced the first smartwatch app that automatically monitors users’ heart rhythms during their sleep. The app, which can be integrated into any brand of smartwatch, automatically detects both silent and intermittent Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) at night, dramatically reducing the risk of stroke in people over 40.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of heart rhythm disorder and is responsible for around 25% of all strokes; the vast majority of which are entirely preventable with timely diagnosis and treatment. FibriCheck’s latest innovation for smartwatch has been developed to detect the heart rhythm disorder when a person is asleep, even in cases where there are no apparent symptoms.
Until now, atrial fibrillation could only be detected via expensive medical examinations in a clinical setting. Which is why many people do not have themselves tested, despite the relatively high risk: 1 in 4 people over the age of 40 will develop the condition in their lifetime, reports Natalie Hoekx in a News release.
“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to know if they have a heart rhythm irregularity, to prevent AF strokes from happening,” said Lars Grieten, CEO FibriCheck. “The FibriCheck heart rhythm app is a device-agnostic medical software application that can easily be integrated into any phone or wearable product that uses PPG (photoplethysmography) sensors. For smartphone, smartwatch and consumer technology companies, this opens up new possibilities to expand product offerings and provide consumers with innovative ways to manage their health and health-related conditions, including better heart health.”
FibriCheck is the first medical CE- and FDA-certified app that enables regular and long-term heart rhythm screening. It has been extensively validated in clinical settings as well as large clinical trials in free-living conditions, indicating state-of-the-art performance of its algorithms.
At present, the new medical smartwatch app is undergoing the final stages of user testing and will be available for smartwatch manufacturers as of the second half of 2020. One major smartwatch manufacturer has already reached an agreement to integrate the FibriCheck technology in their products.
FibriCheck was selected as a high-impact innovation by the 2020 NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) program, another step in commercially expanding and scaling up FibriCheck’s market reach.
“This is the first step in turning consumer devices into fully automated medical diagnostic devices. Our next steps will be to add even more devices, and more frequent monitoring, to improve the user experience and make it easier to deliver better capabilities supporting heart health,” said Grieten.