The EPACS study was carried out in the Stroke specialty and is just one of hundreds of studies carried out in South London.
Dr James Teo is a Consultant Neurologist at King’s College Hospital and was the Chief Investigator on the study, which investigated a new way of monitoring for Stoke risk that could be more cost effective than current methods and improve outcomes for patients.
“I’m interested in increasing adoption of digital technologies in the NHS,” said Dr Teo: “The hard work of CRN helped this study to become NIHR adopted and to be completely successfully.”
The research tested the effect of using a novel water-proof Ziopatchtm to monitor patients for atrial fibrillation (AF), a condition that puts patients at much higher risk of having a stroke. The current method of monitoring for AF involves the patient taking home a Holter with many wires that monitors their heart activity and then bringing the Holter back to clinic 24 hours later.
A Ziopatchtm is so small it can be sent back in the post and so reduces the burden on the patient. More importantly, it’s designed to be worn continuously by patients for two weeks and so can pick up on paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) where episodes of AF come and go. Monitoring for two weeks rather than 24 hours increases the likelihood that PAF will be detected.
Recruitment to the study took place two sites - King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, and Princess Royal University Hospital, Orpington. The requisite level of patient participation was reached within the target time frame and results showed that AF was detected in 7 of the 43 patients using the Ziopatchtm, but in just 1 of the 47 patients using the standard monitoring vest.
Dr Teo said: "The convenience of the patch-based heart monitor substantially increased the uptake and efficiency of heart monitoring early after ischemic strokes and TIA (transient ischemic attack) and may have a superior AF detection rate to standard approaches."
Read the full article on the EPACS study here.
You can also read more news stories on research across South London here
Find out about the impact of NIHR research nationally here.