Rapid Rhythm - a portable primary care ECG device

TRUSTECH is working with Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) to develop a device that will enable widespread primary care based screening for the heart condition Atrial Fibrillation (AF), a major risk factor for stroke, particularly among elderly people.

After carrying out an initial assessment of the idea, TRUSTECH realised the potential impact testing for AF in primary care settings could have. Early diagnosis of AF enables the timely prescription of anticoagulants, resulting in a reduction in the number of AF related strokes and associated NHS cost savings.
TRUSTECH applied for a Technology Strategy Board (TSB) grant on behalf of the Trust, which was awarded and enabled the development of an initial prototype and proof of concept study at CMFT. Additional TSB funding was obtained to cover the development of a more comprehensive trial within GP clinics and other primary care settings.

Rapid Rhythm Ltd. was formed with assistance from TRUSTECH and the company, which is located at the MedTECH Centre, received early stage funding from the North West Fund for Biomedical. This award enabled detailed market research, concept development and a health economics study to prove the potential benefits of the device.

Further validation occurred in November 2012 when TRUSTECH successfully leveraged £850,000 for ongoing development and evaluation of the device from the NIHR’s Invention for Innovation (i4i) programme. One of the key factors contributing to the award was the multidisciplinary background of the team, which included the inventor (a consultant cardiologist), Professors from the University of Manchester and a GP with a specialist interest in cardiology.

TRUSTECH also conducted preliminary human factors research, specifically collecting feedback from GPs and other primary care staff. The feedback was designed to meet technical dossier regulatory requirements and assess GP service change/adoption issues.