A machine that measures a patient’s pulse could increase the detection rate of an irregular heartbeat compared to the traditional assessment of taking a pulse by hand, health experts have said.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has proposed draft recommendations that NHS doctors should use the Watch BP Home A device on people with suspected high blood pressure.
Using the device could also increase the detection rate for atrial fibrillation - a condition that causes an irregular heart rate, a Nice spokesman said.
The device is a blood pressure monitor which automatically detects pulse irregularity that may be caused by symptomatic or asymptomatic atrial fibrillation, while it records blood pressure.
Professor Carole Longson, director of the Nice Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “The independent medical technologies advisory committee has produced draft guidance supporting the use of Watch BP Home A, based on the evidence it considered.
“This evidence indicates that the device can offer advantages in measuring blood pressure and detecting atrial fibrillation and that using the device in primary care could increase the detection rate of atrial fibrillation compared with taking the pulse by hand.
“This would allow preventative treatment to be given to reduce the incidence of atrial fibrillation-related stroke.
“We welcome comments on the draft guidance as part of the current consultation.”