Atrial Fibrillation Detection

Could new digital monitoring technologies support secondary care providers in Lanarkshire meet national standards for stroke?


Building on the work undertaken in Atrial Fibrillation in primary care in Phase 1, the DHI is working in three stroke units in NHS Lanarkshire to evaluate the use of continuous monitoring devices to detect intermittent AF, and to understand impacts for patients and the service. The views of specialist staff in Lanarkshire have been gathered for analysis and work with AF patients is underway with a number of devices piloted. The findings from this work will inform the National Advisory Committees for both Heart Disease and Stroke to consider scale and national adoption. This work also supports the findings of the Cross Party Working Group (CPWG) inquiry into AF in Scotland led by the British Heart Foundation


Detection of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) following a stroke is crucial to prevent recurrent stroke. NICE guidelines recommend 72 hour monitoring following a stroke to identify the presence of AF. However, this guidance is not routinely adopted across primary or secondary care in Scotland, and methods for monitoring are variable nationwide. New standards have been agreed by the National Advisory Committee for Stroke, and performance against these standards will be benchmarked as part of the Stroke Improvement Plan.


Impact & Value

The early detection of AF in stroke patients will:

  • Improved patient experience;
  • Improved service outcomes;
  • Improve resource utilisation.