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Heart rate app is a hit at home with patients

Sharon Toora

A new app has been launched for 400 patients to monitor their hearts for palpitations and murmurs, which can cause strokes and heart attacks.

The Fibricheck app is being trialled across the county by the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC) at Basildon Hospital.

It and can be downloaded on a patient’s smartphone to test their heart rate remotely, with the results being seen by a specialist heart nurse.

The app uses light technology through the phone’s camera. The patient puts their finger over the lens for one minute and the camera picks up blood flow in the finger.

Sharon Toora, CTC lead arrhythmia nurse specialist, said: “This is really going to benefit patients as they won’t have to make the journey into the hospital to get their heart rate results; it’s all done in the comfort of their own home.

“If there are any concerns with the results, we speak to the patient over the phone and this avoids face-to-face check-ups. When we speak to patients we can tell them what medication we will be prescribing for future care to make them feel more relaxed.”

Funding for the app has come from a special Covid Appeal fund and charitable funds from Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity, and it’s already getting great feedback from patients who are using it.

One of those is Stephen Messer, 67, a retired plumber from Rayleigh, who had a quadruple heart bypass in 2013. He recently used the app to monitor heart palpitations.

He said: “I was checking my heart rate three times a day and getting the results back really quickly from the team which meant I wasn’t splitting my day up travelling back and forth and having to park at the hospital.

“It’s so easy to use and fit into my day-to-day life, and I’m now managing my condition through medication, thanks to the app.”

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