An old man visiting his general practitioner is asked to hold a small metal tube in his hands. After a minute the green light on the metal surface goes on. The patient has just undergone an ECG scan with the device called MyDiagnostick, which was developed specifically for the screening of widespread but under-diagnosed condition – atrial fibrillation. This condition is a common arrhythmia that increases the risk of heart failures and strokes if left untreated. However, quite often the patients do not receive the preventive treatment early enough because atrial fibrillation is often asymptomatic, and its identification and detection require long-term ECG monitoring. “40% of cases of atrial fibrillation are not present all the time. Atrial fibrillation event lasts for a couple of minutes and then it goes away for two-three weeks, so you have to be lucky to catch it,” says Vincent Larik, the director of Applied Biomedical Systems. And that is why his company based in Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus developed and eventually started producing a device that allows easy screening for atrial fibrillation in the risk groups.
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