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Dr Connie Henson, 2023 Vanguard Grant

Wearables for early detection of Atrial Fibrillation for Indigenous people 55 years and older

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Wearables for early detection of Atrial Fibrillation for Indigenous people 55 years and older

Dr Connie Henson, Heart Research Institute

2023 Vanguard Grant - Two Year

Years funded: 2024 - 2025

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a common heart arrhythmia, often without symptoms. Frequently people do not know they have it, and it can lead to stroke and heart failure. The prevalence is higher for Indigenous people, they are more likely to develop AF at younger ages, with a higher AF-stroke risk than the general population. If detected, there are treatments for AF, including oral anticoagulants.

We will test the feasibility of implementing a care pathway augmented by wearables (patches and watches) compared to the standard care. We will work alongside Aboriginal Health Service (AMS) health workers and their patients to co-create a framework that describes the resources and conditions needed to implement culturally safe and acceptable wearables programs for older Indigenous people living in remote, rural and regional locations.

To answer our primary research question: Is a care pathway augmented with wearables feasible and acceptable to promote earlier detection and timely management of AF in older Indigenous adults? We will work alongside Aboriginal Health Service (AMS) health workers and their patients to co-create a framework that describes the resources and conditions needed to implement culturally safe and acceptable wearables programs for older Indigenous people living in remote, rural and regional locations. We will test the feasibility of implementing a care pathway augmented by wearables (patches and watches) compared to the standard care pathway in AMSs.

Participants will use their watch to self-test for AF and be encouraged to use the other watch functions to track exercise and monitor other health indicators such as heart rate and sleep cycle. In cohorts of four to six, participants will also participate in online heart health education.

Last updated12 March 2024