Atrial Fibrillation educational apps

Two new educational apps on Atrial Fibrillation have been developed with support from clinicians at University Hospitals of North Midlands. Using augmented reality, the apps explain how to check your pulse and about atrial fibrillation.

The first app, which can be downloaded onto any smart device, is called 'Know my Beat' and used augmented reality to help the general public check their own pulse and identify if individuals are at risk of Atrial Fibrillation. The app features healthcare professionals who also outline what AF is and what treatments are available.

The second app is called 'Know my Heart' and is targeted at patients and healthcare professionals to understand the diagnosis and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation. This app also uses augmented reality to show an interactive 3D heart with an information guide on Atrial Fibrillation, clot formation and stroke prevention.

Kevin McGibbon, Arrhythmia Clinical Nurse Specialist at UHNM said: "We are exploring novel innovative ways to inform our patients and the general public how to check their pulses and to learn about atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention. Every 15 seconds someone suffers an atrial fibrillation related stroke. It is the most powerful single risk factor for suffering a deadly or debilitating stroke, which is why detecting it using a simple manual pulse check is so essential."

The idea for the two teaching apps was conceived by Dr Thanh Phan, Consultant cardiologist, Cardiac Electrophysiology lead and Kevin McGibbon, UHNM Arrhythmia Clinical Nurse Specialist. Professor Ruth Chambers, clinical telehealth lead at Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group has helped facilitate the project and the apps were developed in partnership with Luke Bracegirdle from Virtual Health SHED. The team have also collaborated with the JD Wetherspoon group to put a QR code on drink mats in all 16 Wetherspoons across Staffordshire.

Tim Bevington, Lay Member for Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group and a member of the AF app development group said: "As someone who has atrial fibrillation I know how frustrating it can be when you feel you aren't in control of your own heart rate. These two new apps are a great way to both check for heart issues and then to understand more about AF and how you can take back some control and better manage your own health."

The teaching apps were funded by the NHS England Staffordshire's technology enabled care programme (TEC). This programme acknowledges that technology is an effective tool in supporting people to manage their own health and enabling better coordination of care, personalisation and prevention.

They are available for free from the App Store - Know My Beat or Know My Heart

and Google Play - Know my beat or Know my heart