The European TeleCheck-AF project on remote app-based management of atrial fibrillation during the COVID-19 pandemic: centre and patient experiences

Monika Gawałko, David Duncker, Martin Manninger, Rachel M.J. van der Velden, Astrid N.L. Hermans, Dominique V.M. Verhaert, Laurent Pison, Ron Pisters, Martin Hemels, Arian Sultan, Daniel Steven, Dhiraj Gupta, Hein Heidbuchel, Afzal Sohaib, Petra Wijtvliet, Robert Tieleman, Henri Gruwez, Julian Chun, Boris Schmidt, John J. KeaneyPatrick Müller, Piotr Lodziński, Emma Svennberg, Olga Hoekstra, Ward P.J. Jansen, Lien Desteghe, Tom de Potter, David R. Tomlinson, Lis Neubeck, Harry J.G.M. Crijns, Nikki A.H.A. Pluymaekers, Jeroen M. Hendriks, Dominik Linz, TeleCheck-AF investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

AIMS: TeleCheck-AF is a multicentre international project initiated to maintain care delivery for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) during COVID-19 through teleconsultations supported by an on-demand photoplethysmography-based heart rate and rhythm monitoring app (FibriCheck®). We describe the characteristics, inclusion rates, and experiences from participating centres according the TeleCheck-AF infrastructure as well as characteristics and experiences from recruited patients. METHODS AND RESULTS: Three surveys exploring centre characteristics (n = 25), centre experiences (n = 23), and patient experiences (n = 826) were completed. Self-reported patient characteristics were obtained from the app. Most centres were academic (64%) and specialized public cardiology/district hospitals (36%). Majority of the centres had AF outpatient clinics (64%) and only 36% had AF ablation clinics. The time required to start patient inclusion and total number of included patients in the project was comparable for centres experienced (56%) or inexperienced in mHealth use. Within 28 weeks, 1930 AF patients were recruited, mainly for remote AF control (31% of patients) and AF ablation follow-up (42%). Average inclusion rate was highest during the lockdown restrictions and reached a steady state at a lower level after easing the restrictions (188 vs. 52 weekly recruited patients). Majority (>80%) of the centres reported no problems during the implementation of the TeleCheck-AF approach. Recruited patients [median age 64 (55-71), 62% male] agreed that the FibriCheck® app was easy to use (94%). CONCLUSION: Despite different health care settings and mobile health experiences, the TeleCheck-AF approach could be set up within an extremely short time and easily used in different European centres during COVID-19.

Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • COVID-19
  • eHealth
  • mHealth
  • Remote monitoring
  • TeleCheck-AF
  • Telemedicine
  • MHealth
  • EHealth

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