Smartphone apps five times more effective at detecting heart conditions than standard

Smartphone apps are five times more effective at diagnosing serious heart conditions compared to standard tests, a University of Edinburgh study has found.Devices which can record an electrocardiogram (ECG), which displays a patient’s heartbeat, at home were said to be quicker at detecting palpitations which could help save lives as researchers called for them to be rolled out to hospitals across the country.The study, carried out by the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian, involved around 240 people who turned up at 15 A&E departments in the UK with irregular heart beats or who felt lightheaded.Just over half of the patients were given the AliveCor KardiaMobile app, available on Apple and android devices, to take home where they were told to activate it should they experience a palpitation with the ECG result sent to a doctor.Meanwhile, 116 patients were given standard tests and, if undiagnosed, told to return to A&E or visit their GP if they experienced more symptoms.After 90 days, the smartphone device helped doctors diagnose 56 per cent of patients, in an average time of 9.5 days.However, only 10 per cent of patients given standard care were diagnosed, in an average time of 43 days. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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