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What Is Afib and How Can Remote Cardiac Monitoring Help in Detection and Treatment?

Abbott Cardiac Rhythm Management | August 25, 2022
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Atrial fibrillation, often referred to as AFib or AF, is the most common type of heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. It can feel like a flutter or quiver in the chest and affects nearly 33.5 million people worldwide.

AFib isn’t just an uncomfortable feeling, it can lead to a host of medical complications and puts impacted patients at higher risk for other issues, including blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other cardiac-related conditions.

Studies have shown AFib is associated with a 3x higher risk of heart failure, and patients with AFib are 5x more likely to have a stroke. In fact, AFib is known to be prevalent in more than 25% of patients with recent ischemic stroke, and long-term monitoring reveals AFib in approximately 30% of cryptogenic stroke patients. For those with AFib-related strokes, there is a 50% likelihood of death within one year after a stroke.

The statistics are staggering and may sound scary, but solutions are available.

Patients who suspect they have an irregular heartbeat should visit their heart doctor. Cardiologists and electrophysiologists have tools at their disposal to help diagnose AFib, including Abbott’s Jot Dx™ insertable cardiac monitor (ICM) and Confirm Rx™ ICM. These devices offer effective solutions for the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of AFib that empower health care providers to develop effective treatment plans for each patient and enable patients to live life to the fullest.

Abbott ICMs have proven to be effective tools for detecting AFib, more so than conventional methods and wearable monitors. Cardiac monitoring has been proven to find AFib, the cause of ⅓ of ischemic and ½ of cardioembolic strokes, more than regular follow-up.

Both ICMs, with supporting myMerlin™ mobile app, enable patients to record symptoms and send heart rhythm information directly to their doctor or clinic. The easy-to-use app facilitates the transfer of data and ensures healthcare professionals receive the information they need to diagnose and treat each patient in a timely fashion. 

The Abbott ICM devices monitor a patient’s heart continuously, without interrupting their lifestyle, and the accompanying myMerlin mobile app records symptoms, such as arrhythmias, and automatically sends information needed for an accurate diagnosis directly to their doctor or clinic.

Equipped with SharpSense™ technology, Jot Dx ICM offers healthcare professionals a choice in how they receive information – viewing three key episodes or all episodes – and, if they change their mind, it’s easy to toggle between the two modes.

Whether choosing the key episodes feature to reduce data burden without sacrificing accuracy, or the all data mode to catch hard-to-detect arrhythmias, Jot Dx ICM provides precise, actionable EGM insights HCPs need to accurately diagnose difficult-to-detect arrhythmias, like AFib.

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The three key episodes feature, exclusive to Jot Dx ICM, on Merlin.net is uniquely programmed to evaluate each arrhythmia differently - AFib, Tachycardia, Brady, and Pause each have a novel set of evaluation criteria that make up the three key episodes to ensure the most insightful data based on arrhythmia type. Even with three key episodes turned on, there is no loss of accuracy and virtually no delay-to-diagnosis. And, retrospective analysis of a global registry shows SharpSense technology significantly reduces detection of false positive episodes.

Marlene, a Jot Dx ICM patient, shares her compelling story about how Jot Dx has given her and her family peace of mind and hope for the future and has helped her live a longer and better life after implantation. Viewers will hear how, after experiencing her first cardiac event at age 38, this great-grandmother is now living a full life into her 70s.

Once a patient has been implanted with an Abbott ICM, there are many tools available to help them get the most out of their device and treatment plan. Abbott’s SyncUP™ service helps to ensure patients are properly connected to the myMerlin app.

Data show an impressive rate of 97% of patients are compliant with the myMerlin app. This compliance, combined with SyncUP support service, ensures continuous flow of accurate information, delivering life-saving information continuously from a patient’s smartphone. A dedicated SyncUP Support site has been established to assist healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers.

Not knowing the cause of their symptoms or facing an AFib diagnosis can be scary for a patient, but they can be reassured that having an irregular heartbeat doesn’t have to stop them from living their best life. Take the first step and talk about whether Jot Dx or Confirm Rx ICM is the right treatment plan choice.

Doctors and patients can find more information and resources about AFib at AFanswers.com.

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