world heart rhythm week

This blog is part of a blog series that s howcases the medtech role in the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read here more COVID-19 related blogs. More info on MedTech Europe's info hub . Before COVID-19 hit, there were around 11 million people across Europe living with atrial fibrillation (AF). As many as one in four people over the age of 40 will develop AF, which is characterised by an irregular and often fast heart rhythm. It is a chronic condition that severely affects a person’s quality of life, and more than doubles an AF patient’s likelihood of suffering from a stroke. Unlike stroke, the symptoms of AF are less-well known and more difficult to identify, often going undiagnosed, with up to 30% of patients not experiencing any symptoms. With almost 900,000 new diagnoses each year, AF is a serious and growing health problem. This week is World Heart Rhythm Week (WHRW2020), led by Arrhythmia Alliance and the message this year, is simple: ‘Don’t Miss A Beat’. As with all heart conditions, prevention and early diagnosis should be the priority.Sadly, with the onset of COVID-19, access to diagnosis and treatments for many conditions has been delayed or reduced. Meaning many AF patients are going undetected and untreated for longer. However, as lockdown measures begin to lift and healthcare systems reopen, many hospitals will be looking at how they can address the growing number of patients – is unlocking efficiency the answer? Treating more patients by improving efficiency Before the pandemic, some healthcare systems across Europe were already feeling the pressure; long waiting lists, shortages in capacity, aging populations and a reduction in government spending. Some of these pressures have now intensified following the pandemic. Strategic partnerships between the medical technology industry and healthcare organisations may enable hospitals to...