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How An App Could Spot Your Irregular Heart Rate – and save your life

The Memo

Better than Pokémon, say scientists.

We send heart emoji to our friends and lovers every day, but it’s easy to overlook the health of our own tickers.

Yes you can eat healthily and exercise, but if a doctor doesn’t invite you in for tests, you could well be ignorant to your own irregular heartbeat.

More than 2m of us Brits experience so-called arrhythmias a year, and while most can lead a normal life after diagnosis, certain types are linked to sudden cardiac death.

About 100,000 people die under these circumstances every year, and some of these deaths would undoubtedly be avoided if irregularities were caught earlier.

There’s an app for that.

Soon your doctor, nurse, or community carer could be curbing these fatal figures – not with some fancy pants machine but with a simple smartphone app.

All they’d need to do would be to login into an app, while you hold onto a wireless heart monitor, a new study published in Heart suggests.

This would be a far cheaper and more accessible way of improving the nation’s heart health, writes researcher Dr Ngai-yin Chan.

In particular, his study suggest that smartphone screening can help to spot what’s called atrial fibrillation (AF) – which is associated with a heightened risk of stroke, heart failure, and death.

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