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July 10, 2018

Screening for Atrial Fibrillation With a Wearable Device

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City
  • 2Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
  • 3Duke Center for Atrial Fibrillation, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA. 2018;320(2):139-141. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.8513

The formative, landmark descriptions of the prevalence and risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) in the Framingham Heart Study were based on “spot” 12-lead electrocardiograms.1 In terms of surveillance, this was largely unchanged from centuries of recording an irregular pulse by palpation and required a very high frequency of sustained arrhythmia to detect AF. However, the last decade has seen a substantial increase in the potential tools available for detection of infrequent AF, including a variety of “wearable” technologies.2-6 The ready availability of both medical and consumer-based technologies for diagnosis of AF is driving a major shift in the approach from characterizing AF as a binary diagnosis—present or absent—to one on a continuum (based more on frequency of arrhythmia).7