What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when an electrical malfunction of the heart causes it to suddenly stop beating. SCA is not a heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest strikes without warning, regardless of age killing an estimated 100,000 people in the UK every year.

SCA is caused by an abnormal heart rhythm or cardiac arrhythmia. Ventricular Fibrillation (VF) is the most common type of arrhythmia where the ventricles flutter making them unable to deliver blood to the body. The heart responds by fibrillating (quivering), rather than beating in a normal fashion.  Blood flow to the brain is reduced to the point that the victim loses consciousness and collapses.

A heart attack, medically known as a Myocardial Infarction (MI) occurs when blood flow to the heart is obstructed due to a blocked artery. Unlike SCA, with a heart attack the heart does not normally stop beating.

It’s easy to think of an SCA as an “electrical” problem and a heart attack as a “plumbing problem”. They are not the same thing.

Symptoms of SCA can come on very quickly without any warning signs. Victims usually collapse, lose consciousness are unresponsive, have no pulse and may be gasping.

As there is no blood flow to the brain it is starved of Oxygen and without treatment death can occur in minutes.

What should you do?

Dial 999, give CPR and use an AED defibrillator!

Every second counts and good chest compressions are essential to move blood through the body to protect vital organs.

When starting chest compressions the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) 2015 guidelines recommend the rescuer positions themselves vertically above the victims chest and presses down on the sternum to a depth of 5cm (but no greater than 6cm) at a rate of at least 100-120 compressions per minute.

Would you know if you were pressing down on the sternum hard enough and fast enough?

In a stressful situation rather than guess wouldn’t it be better to know or be told? Of course it would.

Fortunately ZOLL’s Real CPR help technology introduced in 2002 and available on their latest AED Plus and AED 3 models instils confidence by guiding rescuers to perform high quality CPR. Real CPR technology would tell you to “Push Harder” and reassure you with a “Good Compressions” message. The adaptive metronome feature will help you to meet the suggested compression rate.

Where is your AED?

Does your work place, office, construction site, Golf club, sports club, school or community have access to an AED? If you spotted a fire in one of these places you’d expect to be able to put it out with a nearby fire extinguisher.

If you don’t have a nearby AED why not?

According to the ERC defibrillation within 3-5 minutes of collapse from an SCA can produce survival rates as high as 50-70 %. Is there an AED within 3-5 minutes of people in your organisation?

Anyone can use an AED and early defibrillation can be achieved through CPR providers using public access and on-site AEDs. ZOLL’s AED Defibrillators are meant for infrequent rescuers who are not medical professionals.

A victim’s chance of survival diminishes by about 10% for every minute that passes after collapse; after about 10 minutes there is almost no hope of survival. On average, response time for emergency services is seven minutes or more.

With the relatively low purchase and running costs of AED’s and when every minute counts why haven’t you got one?

Detecting Irregular Heartbeats (IHB)/AFib Using A&D’s Latest Blood Pressure Monitors.

A&D have a long history and pedigree in pioneering innovation and the development of blood pressure monitors with leading edge functions. With over 40 years of patient-focused thinking it has made them one of the leading blood pressure manufacturers in the world. Their latest clinically validated digital monitors feature a new 2nd generation IHB/AFib algorithm to detect an irregular rhythm during a measurement. 

It is currently available in the latest 2019 versions of the UA-767S AFib+ and UA-767S-W AFib+ from leading distributor PMS Instruments and will be available in more models soon.

It’s the latest development of an Irregular Heartbeat (IHB) detector and algorithm originally pioneered by A&D in 2014. With this feature as well as the existing World Health Organisation (WHO) blood pressure classification index introduced in 2003, A&D monitors really are at the Heart of Healthcare Technology.  

Why is the detection of Atrial Fibrillation important?

AFib is an irregular heart beat that can lead to strokes and other heart related conditions.

The NHS long term plan (NHSLTP) recently published ambitious targets for Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) and high Blood Pressure detection over the next 10 years.

For Atrial Fibrillation the targets are

That 85% of the expected number of people with AF are detected by 2029

That 90% of people with AF who are known to be at high risk of stroke to be adequately anti-coagulated by 2029.

The A&D UA 767S Afib+ and UA-767S-W Afib+ with %IHB/AFib detection could help with these aims.

The monitors classify the %IHB into 4 different grades showing how often an IHB has been detected during the measurement and illustrated by an icon.

0% no indication

1 – 9% grade 1

10 – 24% grade 2

25 – 100% grade 3

This feature is for monitoring purposes only and we recommend contacting your doctor if the grade is high.  

This new feature has been clinically validated and published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension J Clin Hypertens. 2017;19:1143–1147 Tomoyuki Kabutoya et al. The paper concludes that the new algorithm had high diagnostic accuracy for detecting AF and a low false-positive rate.

Kardia Mobile ECG App now detects Bradycardia and Tachycardia

The latest update of the AliveCor Kardia mobile ECG app for Apple iOs and Android devices now includes 2 new FDA-cleared, medical-grade ECG detectors, Bradycardia and Tachycardia.

This brings the total to 4 clinically relevant detectors including automatic instant analysis for Bradycardia, Tachycardia, Atrial Fibrillation, and Normal ECGs.

What is Bradycardia?

Kardia Instant Analysis Bradycardia indicates that atrial fibrillation is not detected in the ECG, and the heart rate is less than 50-beats per minute, which is slower than normal for most people. The normal range for heart rate depends on your age and physical condition. A heart rate of less than 50-beats per-minute can be normal for healthy adults, athletes and during sleep.

What is Tachycardia?

Kardia Instant Analysis Tachycardia indicates that atrial fibrillation is not detected in the ECG, and the heart rate is faster than 100 beats per minute. This can be normal with stress or physical activity. The normal range for heart rate depends on your age and physical condition. The most common form of tachycardia is sinus tachycardia, which is a normal increase in heart rate.

While Bradycardia (heart rate less than 50 beats per minute) and Tachycardia (heart rate higher than 100 beats per minute) are often nonthreatening, these arrhythmia’s can be indicative of heart disease or other health conditions, such as thyroid disease.

A slow or fast heart rate may be asymptomatic, or cause symptoms such as dizziness or shortness of breath. Kardia Mobile users will now be able to detect these arrhythmias and use the insight to inform conversations with their doctor.

Beyond the patient-doctor relationship, Kardia Mobile also provides peace of mind by diminishing the number of unclassified readings that users may receive. 

The latest Basic version of the App now also allows multiple ECG’s to be stored on the mobile device.

PMS proud to be working in partnership with Zoll.

Back in 1952 Paul Zoll demonstrated that external stimulation of a patient’s heart during Cardiac Arrest could produce an effective heartbeat.

Since then Zoll have been continuous innovators in defibrillators.

Their latest model-the ZOLL AED 3 is a fully automatic defibrillator which guides the user through the process of performing high-quality CPR.

ZOLL’s proprietary Real CPR Help® technology helps the Rescuer in performing high-quality CPR, in accordance with the most recent guidelines for depth and rate of compression.

Most people have no way of knowing whether they are performing CPR correctly. ZOLL’s Real CPR Help® technology guides rescuers to provide high-quality CPR with a prompt to Push Harder or a Good Compressions message.

High-resolution full-colour graphic images and text accompany all audio prompts for clear understanding of what to do next. On-screen display of elapsed rescue time and number of shocks delivered provides critical information that Emergency Services personnel will need to know on arrival.

ZOLL’s CPR Uni-Padz can be used for both adult and child patients. A 5 year shelf life for both the pads and batteries increases the readiness and decreases the frequency of maintenance.

A low cost of ownership for up to 5 years makes the ZOLL AED 3 cost effective whilst providing reliability when you need it most.

ZOLL have a range of defibrillators and trainers which are available through PMS Instruments.

Kardia Mobile Recommended In UK Accident & Emegency Departments

The latest clinical validation study on the AliveCor Kardia Mobile ECG has just been published in The Lancet. The study was funded by research awards from Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Whilst previous clinical studies have concentrated on the AliveCor’s use to detect Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) in Community Pharmacy and Primary Care settings this latest multi-centre trial looked at patients presenting to Accident and Emergency Departments with palpitations and pre-syncope but with no obvious cause at their initial consultation. 

The multi-centre, randomised controlled trial included 243 patients recruited over an 18 month period from 10 prestigious centres across the UK including Hospitals in Edinburgh, Reading, London, Exeter, Plymouth, Chesterfield, Leicester and Nottingham.

What was the problem the researchers identified?

It is estimated that Palpitations and pre-syncope are together responsible for 300,000 annual Accident and Emergency Department attendances in the United Kingdom (UK) alone. However diagnosis of the underlying rhythm is difficult as many patients are fully recovered by the time they attend Hospital and their ECG is normal.

What was the outcome?

Use of the AliveCor Kardia Mobile ECG smartphone-based event recorder in Accident and Emergency units was five times more effective at detecting heart rhythm problems than standard tests and should be used in all Accident and Emergency units, researchers say.

Use of the Kardia Mobile ECG also increased the number of patients diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia.

The Study participation survey and questionnaire demonstrated the Kardia Mobile was well received and liked by patients with the majority agreeing or strongly agreeing the Kardia Mobile was easy to use.

The £99 Kardia Mobile ECG recorder also cut the cost of diagnosis by more than £900 per patient and cut the time taken to diagnose by more than three weeks.

A copy of the paper can be accessed using the following link

M.J. Reed, N.R. Grubb, C.C. Lang, et al., Multi-centre Randomised Controlled Trial of a Smartphone-based Event Recorder Alongside Standard Car…, , https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.02.005

Cardiovascular disease a national call to action

The fight begins against the nation’s biggest killer. Prevention is better than cure.

That’s the message from the latest guidance jointly released today by Public Health England and NHS England.

They have agreed ambitions and a goal over a 10 year period to improve the detection and treatment of (A) atrial fibrillation, (B) high blood pressure and (C) high cholesterol the A-B-C of major causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in England.

It is estimated CVD costs the wider economy £15.8 billion per year and causes 1 in 4 deaths.

It’s well known that many people are living with undiagnosed CVD or if diagnosed it is badly managed. These conditions often carry no symptoms meaning millions of people are unaware they are at risk and in need of treatment. It is believed that over 5 million are currently living with undiagnosed high blood pressure in England alone.

Today CVD causes 1 in 4 deaths in England or 1 every 4 minutes. In 2016 heart disease was the leading cause of death for men and the second biggest for women after dementia.

The NHS long term plan (NHSLTP) has the ambition to prevent 150,000 cases of Strokes, heart attacks and dementia over the next 10 years.

The old adage prevention is better than cure is the mantra and Health Secretary Matt Hancock is on record as saying

“Prevention is at the heart of our vision for improving the health of the nation, empowering people to stay healthy, not just treating them when they’re ill. Millions of people are needlessly at risk of heart attacks or strokes when it could be prevented. So I want to help more people take the time out to protect their future health and get checked.”

These are the ambitions for Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) and Blood Pressure.

Atrial Fibrillation

  • 85% of the expected number of people with AF are detected by 2029
  • 90% of people with AF who are known to be at high risk of stroke to be adequately anti-coagulated by 2029.

Blood Pressure

  • 80% of the expected number of people with high BP are diagnosed by 2029
  • 80% of the total number of people diagnosed with high BP are treated to target as per NICE guidelines by 2029

How do we achieve these objectives when Primary Care is already overstretched?

By using the NHS Health Check to support early diagnosis and management can encourage people to make healthy life style choices such as eating well, reducing alcohol and taking more exercise is one approach.

New technology and new approaches can also help.

I’ve written previously on this Blog about opportunistic screening in different settings including community settings. Pharmacists for instance are already using new technologies and products like the AliveCor Kardia Mobile ECG and A&D UA-767 S blood pressure monitor with AFib + technology to actively and opportunistically identify at risk patients.

Already used extensively throughout the NHS the Kardia Mobile ECG monitor is clinically validated and automatically detects AFib in 30 seconds. Its quick uses a smartphone App and costs under £99.

Published today the CVD goals and ambitions Public Health England and NHS England hope to achieve by 2029 should be welcomed. If made a reality, the prospects of millions of at risk people will be transformed for the good.

PMS Instruments Receives Gold Trusted Service Award 2019

PMS Instruments have won the Feefo Gold Service award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers.

Created by Feefo, Trusted Service is awarded only to those businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine reviews and insights. Those that meet the high standard, based on the number of reviews they have collected, and their average rating, receive the award. A badge of honour, this accreditation remains unique, as it is based purely on the interactions with real customers. As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of a business’ commitment to outstanding service.

PMS Instruments met the criteria of collecting sufficient positive reviews between January 1st 2018 and December 31st 2018, with a Feefo service rating of between 4.5 and 5.0.

We’re thrilled to receive this award from Feefo. It recognises how hard we’ve been working to give great experiences to all our customers, who are the most important judges of what we do. We’re committed to delivering the highest quality of service, so it’s important for us to listen, understand and respond to all our customers. Feefo enabled us to consistently improve throughout 2018 and now we’re looking forward to another successful year ahead.”

Congratulating PMS Instruments on winning this year’s award, Matt West, CEO at Feefo, commented: “The Trusted Service award has always been about recognising those companies that excel beyond the norm. This year we’ve seen many remarkable businesses leveraging the full potential of Feefo to provide outstanding levels of experience for their customers – and rightly being awarded our most prestigious accreditation. I’m looking forward to the continual success of the businesses that work in partnership with us throughout 2019.”

New Fixed Price Service Package.

We are pleased to announce the introduction of new Fixed Price Service Plans for selected A&D Medical and Meditech devices including the Meditech ABPM-04/ABPM-05 and A&D TM-2655P/TM-2657P waiting room blood pressure monitors.

PMS Instruments are an approved A&D Medical and Meditech service and repair centre and our new Fixed Price Service Plan includes:-

  • 12 months priority software telephone and remote technical support
  • 12 months remote assist training and installation where applicable
  • Fixed price servicing cost including labour and service parts
  • Fast priority response for all servicing and repairs
  • Loan equipment (subject to availability)
  • FREE preventative maintenance and calibration check
  • Up to 70 point test procedure verifies equipment accuracy, patient safety and reliability
  • Fully insured courier collection and return included
  • Priority turnaround time typically 3-5 working days from receipt of equipment
  • Inclusive annual service and calibration to manufacturer’s specification
  • ISO-9001 Quality Assured service centre and Practice Index approved supplier
  • No need to pay to get this equipment serviced by 3rd party

We use genuine manufacturer approved spare parts, and adhere to recommended preventative and service procedures.

For pricing and to protect your equipment investment and ensure it is accurate, safe and reliable act today by calling 01628 773233 or email support@pmsinstruments.co.uk

Just one call or email is all it takes and we will do the rest.

Improving the AF clinical pathway with the Kardia Mobile

Clinical Background

1.4 million people in the UK have atrial fibrillation; that’s 2.4% of the population. It’s known that in the 45 – 65 age group over 80% of people will suffer from the condition.

Public Health England (PHE) believes almost half a million people with AF remain undiagnosed. AF is known to be a direct cause of a third of all strokes and consequently 2,000 premature deaths per year. Early diagnosis could help avoid this.

AF and AF-related illness costs the National Health Service over £2.2 billion annually – a cost that is expected to rise as the incidence of AF increases due to the ageing population.

Current Clinical Pathway

The current clinical pathway varies according to each GP surgery and CCG but generally it can be a lengthy and costly process to achieve a definitive diagnosis.

The process typically begins with a manual pulse check and then auscultation, a 5 or 12 lead ECG in the surgery is followed by a 24 hour ECG tape or seven day Holter recording which then has to be analysed. With a positive (or indecisive) test, the patient is then referred to a cardiologist. If a diagnosis of AF is confirmed, the patient is then referred back to the GP for anticoagulant therapy.

PHE estimates that 2,000,000 people in the UK have Atrial Fibrillation and that the cost per patient using the current pathway is £1,305 without interventional procedures. This includes three GP visits, 12 lead ECG and Holter recordings, and outpatient costs.

The cost reduction achieved by using Kardia Mobile is significant. Assuming the patient requires two GP visits and a Kardia Mobile is provided for each patient, the cost is £189 rising to £352 if a patient is also sent for a 12 lead ECG. The minimum saving is therefore in the region of £950 per patient.

The cost to the NHS of screening the population with the current pathway is prohibitive. Kardia Mobile makes it possible.

Cost £ Of Current Pathway

First GP visit (incl. ECG test) £81
Outpatients £230
24 hr ECG £163
7 day Holter test £163
Outpatients and decision £230
Implantable loop recorder (ILP) £4021-£4556
Second GP visit £45
Total £1305 with ILR £5861

Cost £ When Using Kardia Mobile

First GP visit (incl. ECG test) £81
GP Supplies Kardia Mobile £99
Second GP visit £81
Total £189

Therefore using the AliveCor Kardia Mobile is a faster, simpler and more effective pathway.

Added Benefits. Early diagnosis of AF in 30 seconds

 In surgery, the GP or the nurse can use the Kardia Mobile for a quick check when a patient presents with palpitations, fast heart rate or irregular rhythm.

The presence of AF can be immediately identified. Due to its simplicity, speed of use and low cost, Kardia Mobile can routinely be used to screen patients for AF and become part of the protocol for health checks in key age groups.

It can also be used to screen newly registered patients, in the well woman/well man NHS health checks and to form part of the routine in flu clinics.

As AF may be transient in nature, a test in the GP’s surgery may still not reveal the presence of the condition. A doctor can then issue a Kardia device to the patient for home use to make a recording when he or she experiences symptoms.

Kardia Mobile will also provide a simple ECG rhythm strip recording with heart rate when used during home visits.

The Cost/Benefit Analysis Of Using The Kardia Includes

  •  Reduction in the number of ECG tests, 24 hour tapes and 7 day Holter recordings.
  • Reduction in the number of GP appointments and outpatient appointments.
  • Savings to the NHS through early diagnosis of AF and prevention of stroke.

Why Is There A Need For The Systoe Toe Pressure Measurement System?

Clinical situation

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is when the arteries, in this case, to the legs, become fully or partially blocked. This blockage most commonly occurs due to atherosclerotic (cholesterol) plaques.

Arterial blood brings oxygen and nutrients to the muscles of the legs, and when blocked may result in pain in the legs, also called intermittent claudication. Intermittent claudication is typically described as pain in the patient’s calf after walking a distance that goes away when the patient rests.

In advanced peripheral arterial disease, the patient may have pain in the legs at rest, and may develop leg ulcers and gangrene.

When a patient is first seen and suspected of having PAD, the underlying diagnosis is usually not difficult if a proper history and physical examination is performed.

For this purpose the Ankle brachial index (ankle systolic pressure/brachial systolic pressure) is usually measured.


Why is there a need for the Systoe?

Limitations of Ankle Brachial Index (ABI)

In the case of diabetic patients, old patients and renal failure patients, medial calcification (deposit of calcium on the middle part of the artery wall) of the tibial/peroneal arteries may prevent the measurement of the ABI pressure.

ABI measurement is impossible in

  • 15 %  of diabetic patients at the time of the diagnosis.
  • 20 % of the diabetic patient present a PAD
  • 30 % after 15 years

Weitz et al. Circulation. 1996; 94: 3026-3049

As the toe arteries are affected by medial calcification later than the leg arteries, the toe systolic pressure can be measured to circumvent the problem of medial calcification of the tibial/peroneal arteries. Toe pressures are a clinical indicator. For clinical purposes a normal Toe brachial Index (TBI = toe systolic pressure/brachial systolic pressure) is considered to be higher than 0.7

For any value less than that, the patient will be found to have some occlusive disease proximal to the recording site.

A major advantage of TBI is its use following the progress of disease and after any form of intervention.

The Atys SysToe can also be used in the following circumstances

  • Triage patients before referral to vascular specialist
  • Opportunistic Screening and follow up after intervention
  • Wound and Ulcer healing

The Atys SysToe is a fully automatic clinically validated device that gives consistent readings which are not operator dependent. Using the SysToe clinicians can quickly determine whether a patient does or doesn’t have PAD without necessarily referring to a specialist Ultrasound Dept saving time and money

Why Buy A Clinically Validated Blood Pressure Monitor?

The sales team at PMS often get asked the same questions from customers wanting to purchase a blood pressure monitor. Questions like which one would you recommend and which is the best one we sell will depend on the features a user is looking for and their budget.

One question we are always happy to answer is “What does clinical validation mean?”

Many customers are familiar with the CE mark on consumer electrical items.

Medical devices like blood pressure monitors must also have a CE mark by law. The CE mark means that, provided you use it correctly, the device will work properly and is safe but doesn’t mean it will necessarily give accurate readings or that it is clinically validated.

Whether you are going to record your blood pressure at home or in a clinical setting surely accuracy is the whole point of buying a monitor in the first place!

When a manufacturer like Meditech or A&D Medical state their product is “clinically validated” it means an independent validation of the device has been performed by a professional group

The most common validation protocols are the British and Irish Hypertension Society (BIHS), formerly British Hypertension Society, the European Society of Hypertension International Protocol (ESH-IP), and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI).

While each of the protocols may have many similarities, there are some differences in their testing requirements. In many cases, however, a product that passes one protocol may also satisfy the criteria of other protocols as well. Recently, the AAMI, ESH, and ISO experts agreed to develop a single universally acceptable standard (AAMI/ESH/ISO), which will replace all previous protocols.

Often, the clinical validation report is published in a peer-reviewed journal like Blood Pressure Monitoring.  Publication in a peer-reviewed journal is essential because of the rigorous review processes a clinical validation must go through to make sure there are no protocol violations and the chosen validation protocol has been adhered to.

The time and conditions demanded by the various protocols are extremely difficult to fulfil as a large number of subjects have to be recruited, a wide range of blood pressures are required and it can be difficult to recruit skilled staff . They can also be expensive.

There is a great overview of the detailed process involved from the Working Group on Blood Pressure Monitoring of the European Society of Hypertension here.

For these reasons not every blood pressure manufacturer will conduct a clinical validation.

PMS Instruments only distribute blood pressure monitors from manufacturers that do. Clinical validation provides so much more than a CE mark!

Whether you are a healthcare professional, or someone looking to keep a check on their blood pressure at home a clinically validated blood pressure monitor from Meditech or A&D Medical gives you the confidence to know you’re using a reliable, accurate device to make a clinical decision.

A&D Medical clinical validation studies

Validation of the A&D UM-211 device for office blood pressure measurement according to the European Society of Hypertension International Protocol revision 2010
Fania, Claudio; Albertini, Federica; Palatini, Paolo
Blood Pressure Monitoring, October 2017,22(5):302-305

Validation of the A&D UM-201 device for office blood pressure measurement according to the European Society of Hypertension International Protocol Revision 2010
Fania, Claudio; Albertini, Federica; Palatini, Paolo
Blood Pressure Monitoring, August 2017,22(4):234-237

Validation of the fully automated A&D TM-2656 blood pressure monitor according to the British Hypertension Society Protocol (equivalent to TM-2657P)
Zeng, Wei-Fang; Liu, Ming; Kang, Yuan-Yuan; Li, Yan; Wang, Ji-Guang
Blood Pressure Monitoring, August 2013,18(4):223-226

Validation of the A&D BP UA-651 device with a wide-range cuff for home blood pressure measurement according to the European Society of Hypertension International Protocol revision 2010
Benetti, Elisabetta; Fania, Claudio; Palatini, Paolo
Blood Pressure Monitoring, June 2015,20(3):164-167

Validation of the A&D BP UA-651 device for home blood pressure measurement according to the European Society of Hypertension International Protocol revision 2010
Benetti, Elisabetta; Fania, Claudio; Palatini, Paolo
Blood Pressure Monitoring, February 2014,19(1):50-53

Validation of the A&D UA-1020 upper-arm blood pressure monitor with six different-shaped or different-sized cuffs according to the British Hypertension Society protocol
Zeng, Wei-Fang; Kang, Yuan-Yuan; Liu, Ming; Li, Yan; Wang, Ji-Guang
Blood Pressure Monitoring, October 2013,18(5):272-277

Validation of the A&D UA-1020 upper-arm blood pressure monitor for home blood pressure monitoring according to the British Hypertension Society Protocol
Zeng, Wei-Fang; Kang, Yuan-Yuan; Liu, Ming; Li, Yan; Wang, Ji-Guang
Blood Pressure Monitoring, June 2013,18(3):177-181

Validation of A&D UA-778 blood pressure monitor in children
Narogan, Marina V.; Narogan, Marina I.; Syutkina, Elena V.
Blood Pressure Monitoring, October 2009,14(5):228-231

Validation of A&D UA-85X device for blood pressure measurement
Bonso, Elisa; Ragazzo, Fabio; Palatini, Paolo
Blood Pressure Monitoring, December 2008,13(6):339-341

Validation of A&D TM-2430 upper-arm blood pressure monitor for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in children and adolescents, according to the British Hypertension Society protocol
Yip, Gabriel Wai-Kwok; So, Hung-Kwan; Li, Albert Martin; Tomlinson, Brian; Wong, Sik-Nin; Sung, Rita Yn-Tz
Blood Pressure Monitoring, April 2012,17(2):76-79

Validation of the A&D UM-101 professional hybrid device for office blood pressure measurement according to the International Protocol
Stergiou, George S.; Giovas, Periklis P.; Gkinos, Charilaos P.; Tzamouranis, Dimitris G.
Blood Pressure Monitoring, February 2008,13(1):37-42

Meditech clinical studies

Reproducibility of 24-h ambulatory blood pressure and measures of autonomic function
Morrin, Niamh M.; Stone, Mark R.; Henderson, Keiran J.
Blood Pressure Monitoring, June 2017,22(3):169-172
Brief Report

Obstructive sleep apnea increases systolic and diastolic blood pressure variability in hypertensive patients
Shi, Jing; Piao, Jingyan; Liu, Bin; Pan, Yujiao; Gong, Yongtai; Deng, Xianzhu; Sun, Weiyan; Lu, Shuang; Li, Yue
Blood Pressure Monitoring, August 2017,22(4):208-212
Clinical Methods and Pathophysiology

The influence of physical training status on postexercise hypotension in patients with hypertension: a cross-sectional study
Imazu, Alexandre A.; Goessler, Karla F.; Casonatto, Juliano; Polito, Marcos D.
Blood Pressure Monitoring, August 2017,22(4):196-201
Clinical Methods and Pathophysiology

Clinical practice of ambulatory versus home blood pressure monitoring in hypertensive patients
Paolasso, Jorge A.; Crespo, Florencia; Arias, Viviana; Moreyra, Eduardo A.; Volmaro, Ariel; Orías, Marcelo; Moreyra, Eduardo Jr
Blood Pressure Monitoring, December 2015,20(6):303-309
Clinical Methods and Pathophysiology

The association of night-time systolic blood pressure with ultrasound markers of subclinical cardiac and vascular disease
O’Flynn, Anne Marie; Ho, Emily; Dolan, Eamon; Curtin, Ronan J.; Kearney, Patricia M.
Blood Pressure Monitoring, February 2017,22(1):18-26
Clinical Methods and Pathophysiology

Myocardial ischemia during everyday life in patients with arterial hypertension: prevalence, risk factors, triggering mechanism and circadian variability
Uen, Sakir; Un, Ismail; Fimmers, Rolf; Vetter, Hans; Mengden, Thomas
Blood Pressure Monitoring, August 2006,11(4):173-182

Development of normative ambulatory blood pressure data in children: Marianne Soergel and the Arbeitsgruppe Pädiatrische Hypertonie
Blood Pressure Monitoring, June-August 1999,4(3):121-126

Making ambulatory blood pressure monitoring accessible in pharmacies
James, Kirstyn; Dolan, Eamon; O’Brien, Eoin
Blood Pressure Monitoring, June 2014,19(3):134-139

Simultaneous recording of blood pressure and ST-segment with combined, triggered ambulatory 24-h devices
Uen, Sakir; Vetter, Hans; Mengden, Thomas
Blood Pressure Monitoring, February 2003,8(1):41-44

Silent myocardial ischaemia in treated hypertensives with and without left ventricular hypertrophy
Stojanovic, Milos M.; O’Brien, Eoin; Lyons, Simon; Stanton, Alice V.
Blood Pressure Monitoring, February 2003,8(1):45-51

The twenty year wait has been worth it!

The new A&D Medical TM-2440 and TM-2441 Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitors are now available to pre-order from lead distributor PMS Instruments. They replace the old TM-2430 which PMS originally introduced in 1998.

Engineered in Japan, they are the 4th generation of A&D ABPM monitor PMS Instruments have launched in the UK and easily the most advanced to date. Both new models have a number of new innovative premium features.

With the launch of 2 new ABPM monitors at once the twenty year wait has been worth it!

The A&D TM-2440 Classic abpm comes as standard with fast measurement time, silent operation and with a world first in an A&D ABPM, IHB (Irregular Heart Beat) analysis technology.

This ground breaking technology pioneered by A&D in 2001 is now used worldwide assisting in the opportunistic detection of arrhythmias – which include AFib (or Atrial Fibrillation). It features Oscillometric waveform measurement analysis and with the new analysis software you can check the waveform record for each measurement.

The TM-2441 Premium ABPM with it’s all in one design concept offers the clinician and patient complete flexibility, providing Ambulatory (ABPM), Home (HBPM), Office (OBP), Automatic Night Blood Pressure (ANBP), and Automatic Self Blood Pressure (ASBP) measurement/monitoring in one device.

In addition to the Irregular Heart Beat analysis technology, it records environmental factors including Activity using a built in Accelerometer, Temperature and Air Pressure. The new TM-2441 provides additional more insightful view of the patient beyond just blood pressure recording and heart rate information – helping build a better picture for clinical decision making.

Both models for the first time are available with 4 different cuff sizes small, adult, large adult and extra-large adult with sizes fitting an arm circumference from 15-22cm right up to 36-50cm.

The new AND Analysis software allows PDF reports to be exported to popular clinical management systems like EMIS and SystmOne and is compatible with the old TM-2430.

The TM-2440/TM-2441 feature both USB and Bluetooth communication, use just 2 AA batteries and at just 120g, the TM-2440 is one of the smallest, lightest ABPM monitors on the market.

To discuss competitive upgrades or arrange a demonstration or trial call us today.

CardXplore your mini cardiology lab

The Meditech CardXplore is a combined 24hr ABPM and Holter ECG recorder.

It is a multifunctional device and can be used just as an ABPM, an ECG Holter monitor or ABPM and ECG combined. It features automatic beat by beat analysis and automatic report generation. CardXplore provides an analysis of the relationship between hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

As hypertension is the most common risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, it is important to assess blood pressure and ECG data at the same time. CardXplore combines 24-hour blood pressure monitoring with Holter ECG recording and actigraphy.

Hokanson Rapid Inflation System

Unfortunately Hokanson recently chose not to renew the CE mark and end distribution of Class I electronic instruments to the European Market. The list of instruments that are no longer available for sale to the EU are:

  • AG101 Air Source
  • AI6 Arterial Inflow System
  • EC6 Strain Gauge & Photo Plethysmograph
  • E20 Rapid Cuff Inflator
  • MD6RP Photo Plethysmograph
  • MD6VR Chart Recorder

Regrettably due to this action we are no longer able to sell the above products in the UK although service and support remains available for the expected lifetime of each product. Replacement parts such as transducers, hoses and batteries will also remain available. Vascular cuffs and aneroid sphygmomanometers are still available for purchase and distribution for UK customers so orders for those products will be processed as usual.

Ideal Professional BP Package

Up until now many Hospitals and GP Practices have purchased low cost digital blood pressure monitors designed originally for home or retail use. As good as some of these monitors are they are not necessarily designed for repeated use on a daily basis or designed to stand up to the rigours of Hospital or Primary Care use.

Monitors in these environments can be subjected to drops and knocks associated with a busy ward or unit.

Expensive vital signs type monitors are available but with extra features not necessarily needed by all.

The A&D Medical UM-201 aims to sit somewhere between these two camps and is aimed at the clinician looking for simple one button operation, accurate readings, cost effectiveness whilst anticipating heavy daily use. It concentrates on features customers actually want, like a large LCD display, long cuff tube, fast measurement times and simple one button operation.

The durable and chemical resistant body and cuffs are easy to clean and disinfect with common antiseptic agents and the low whole life running costs make this suitable for the Hospital environment. The UM-201 features A&D’s latest Electronic Constant Exhaust Valve (ECEV) for enhanced measurement accuracy as well as Irregular Heartbeat Detection (IHB) technology.

We recently introduced a UM-201 Pro package which includes a small (16-24 cm), adult (22-32cm) and large (31-45cm) cuffs as well as a mains adaptor. At £99 it is proving a popular package and for most the complete professional blood pressure solution.

 

What’s the future for manual blood pressure measurement devices?

Since 10 April 2014 and the implementation of EU Commission regulation no 847/2012 the sale of new Mercury sphygmomanometers to the healthcare sector has been banned.

The alternative? Electronic manual sphygmomanometers like the A&D UM-102A mimic the Mercury sphygmomanometer but have none of the inherent disadvantages. These devices blend the best of modern, reliable vertical LCD technology, with the traditional advantage and reassurance of a manual measurement whilst listening to Korotkoff sounds with a stethoscope.

Unlike Mercury sphygmomanometers, devices like the A&D UM-102A sphygmomanometer don’t require routine cleaning or maintenance and can be used at any angle with a wide range of cuffs sizes and on patients with arrhythmias.

There is no oxidisation of the LCD which could alter the dynamic response and readings can be read to a single digit mm/Hg. Most importantly, if a product like the A&D UM-102A gets dropped you won’t end up with a contaminated treatment room and an expensive and time consuming mercury spill to clean up!

Alternative clinically validated Mercury free sphygmomanometers are available, so clinicians do still have a choice as to whether they use a manual method to record blood pressure with a stethoscope or an automatic device.

Manual devices, like the A&D UM-102A, are more tactile to use and can provide the clinician with additional useful information, like regularity or strength of pulse, provided they are used correctly and users have proper training.

Latest AliveCor Kardia Mobile ECG Clinical Paper

Use of the Kardia Mobile may permit patients with palpitations to be evaluated in primary care.

The Kardia Mobile from AliveCor provides convenient patient driven electrocardiogram (ECG) recording over extended periods. That’s one of the key findings from a recently published clinical paper in the UK at Hammersmith Hospital.

The widespread uptake of smartphones makes the Kardia Mobile an appealing method for investigating intermittent palpitations in the absence of syncope.

In the researcher’s experience, the vast majority of patients were able to use the device at the time of symptoms, and a symptom-rhythm correlation was possible for all patients who submitted recordings.

In the cohort of patients with intermittent palpitations, use of the Kardia Mobile enabled the correlation of symptoms with heart rhythm in the bulk (76%) of individuals. This compares favourably to the reported diagnostic yield of 24-hour Holter recordings.

They demonstrated the utility of the Kardia Mobile in the diagnosis of intermittent palpitations in a low-risk population. Based on their findings they propose that many patients presenting with intermittent palpitations could be investigated in primary care as a first line investigation of palpitations.

The minority of patients diagnosed with an arrhythmia can then be triaged appropriately allowing cardiologists to target patients who need their expertise.

The Kardia Mobile is cost effective and helps reduce delays in the diagnosis of arrhythmia or gives reassurance where heart rhythm is normal and will improve the patient experience.

The paper Diagnostic utility of real-time smartphone ECG in the initial investigation of palpitations can be viewed here 10.5837/bjc.2018.006

PMS Instruments Awarded Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award 2018

I am pleased to report that PMS Instruments has again been awarded the Feefo Gold Service award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers.

Created by Feefo, Trusted Service is awarded only to those businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine ratings and reviews. Those that meet the high standard, based on the number of reviews they have collected, and their average rating, are awarded. A badge of honour, this accreditation remains unique, as it is based purely on the interactions with verified customers.

As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of a business’ commitment to outstanding service.

PMS Instruments met the criteria of collecting at least 50 reviews between January 1st 2017 and December 31st 2017, with a Feefo service rating of between 4.5 and 5.0.

I am proud of the team at PMS and it’s a real honour to receive this award from Feefo. To be recognised for delivering exceptional experiences to our customers is a great achievement. We’ve been working hard to ensure our customers receive the best service possible, and being able to listen, understand and respond to their needs has enabled us to improve our offering. We’re looking forward to another successful year ahead.

Could AliveCor SmartRhythm Monitoring Revolutionise AF Detection?

The latest App version 5.0.2 from AliveCor introduces a new premium feature “SmartRhythm” monitoring.

What is SmartRhythm monitoring?

SmartRhythm monitoring from AliveCor is a system that takes heart rate and activity data gathered from an Apple Watch, and evaluates it using a deep neural network to predict heart rate patterns. If  heart rate differs from the neural network prediction, SmartRhythm will notify you to record an ECG either on your phone with Kardia Mobile or for convenience and if you have one with the KardiaBand.

Taking frequent ECGs can help you better manage your heart health, and capturing an ECG specifically during times when heart rate does not match activity levels may be useful.

SmartRhythm monitoring uses the Apple Watch Photoplethysmogram (PPG) sensor to evaluate heart rate approximately every 5 seconds. Your heart rate itself depends on many factors such as activity, stress, time of day and more. So at times your heart rate pattern should be high (during exercise), sometimes, it should be low (at rest) and sometimes it may signify a heart problem.

Patented AliveCor SmartRhythm monitoring technology uses an autoregressive, deep neural network that can learn the normal relationship between heart rate and activity, and notify you when it sees an unexpected pattern. It notifies you when the actual data from the Apple Watch doesn’t match what the SmartRhythm model expects to see.

Receiving a SmartRhythm notification does not necessarily mean that something is wrong. There are many perfectly normal situations that can cause a SmartRhythm notification, including exercise the Apple Watch can’t detect, stress or anxiety, consumption of caffeine or alcohol, and even motion artifact from wearing the watch band too loosely.

Conversely, not getting a SmartRhythm notification does not necessarily mean that everything is normal, since the Apple Watch sensor is only measuring your heart rate and does not capture the full complexity of your heart. SmartRhythm monitoring should be used as an additional means to capture frequent ECGs.

Does SmartRhythm monitoring affect Apple Watch battery life?

Yes. SmartRhythm causes a higher battery usage and you will need to charge your Apple Watch more frequently. This is because SmartRhythm requires the Apple Watch to be in Workout mode as it is evaluating heart rate data continually which increases battery usage.

AliveCor internal testing has shown that with a series 2 or newer watch you can expect around 16 hours of battery life. It can still be worn over night just top up the charge for an hour or so.

The first generation Apple Watch is not supported because it has a smaller battery and will only last 5 hours.

What’s Next?

Kardia for Apple Watch is just the first step in bridging the gap between consumer wearable devices and the science of clinically validated ECG healthcare devices.

The availability of a wearable, mobile ECG device like the Kardia has the potential to dramatically improve early detection of arrhythmias. Many arrhythmias start as occasional, intermittent problems that usually don’t show up in a doctor’s office and are notoriously difficult to diagnose.

AliveCor products including the Kardia Mobile and Kardia Band are available directly from UK Distributor PMS Instruments.

AliveCor®, KardiaBand™ and SmartRhythm™ are trademarks of AliveCor, Inc. Apple Watch® is a trademark of Apple Inc.

Meditech CardiUP!3 24 Hour Holter ECG introduced

January 2018 sees the official UK launch of the new Meditech CardiUP!3 Holter ECG.

Continuous full disclosure Holter ECG monitors were first used in the 1970s and typically operate for 24-48 hours recording every single heartbeat during this period. This can mean that upwards of 100,000 beats are recorded over a 24 hour period. They are especially useful if the wearer does not feel or is not aware of the ECG abnormality.

Holter ECG recorders are generally used to investigate suspected symptoms of arrhythmia including palpitations, light-headedness or syncope (partial or complete loss of consciousness), which has not been detected during a shorter 12 lead, surgery based ECG.

Is there still a need for Holter ECG recorders?

NICE clinical guideline Clinical guideline CG180  on Atrial Fibrillation management recommends the use of a 24‑hour ambulatory ECG monitor in patients with suspected asymptomatic episodes or symptomatic episodes less than 24 hours apart  or with suspected paroxysmal atrial fibrillation undetected by standard ECG recording.

What’s different with the CardiUP!3 Holter?

The latest generation CardiUp!3 from Meditech has a large internal memory which means it can record continuous digital full disclosure ECG from 24 hours or for up to 7 days using just 1 AA battery!

The large LCD screen displays real-time ECG which lets you verify ECG quality, ensuring accurate hook up in real time. Connection is by a new standard mini USB connection.

The CardiUP!3 has a manual programming option which means it can be programmed without connection to a PC. This can be useful if a PC is not available or a treatment room is occupied.

The Meditech CardioVisions analysis software supplied with the CardiUP!3 provides automatic beat-by-beat ECG, ST, PQ, QT and HRV analysis and includes pacemaker beat detection. The QRS detection algorithm of the software is 99.9% accurate according to the IEC 60601-2-47 International Standard and AHA and MIT databases and gives rapid automatic ECG annotation and analysis in minutes.

Running costs are minimised thanks to the latest low power electronic design techniques. The CardiUp!3 Holter uses just 1 AA Alkaline or rechargeable battery.

To find out more or to arrange a demonstration just call us on 01628 773233.

Published Clinical Research Demonstrates The Effectiveness Of Key Products

At PMS Instruments we are always looking to share published clinical research that demonstrates the effectiveness of key products we distribute.

At the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona recently there were a number of clinical studies, papers, posters and presentations focusing on the Kardia Mobile ECG and its effectiveness in AFib detection.

This is important as the research helps validate the accuracy of AliveCors medical grade algorithm giving users’ confidence in Kardia Mobile ECG technology and potentially saving lives.

In one recent Study Professor Julian Halcox of Swansea University Hospital in Wales presented The REHEARSE-AF Study with simultaneous publication in Circulation and the The Journal of the American Heart Association. This randomized study provided AliveCor Kardia units to 500 patients, who used them to record two ECGs per week for a year and compared the results to 500 patients who received conventional care from their General Practitioner. At the end of the year, the Kardia group had a 4-fold increase in AFib diagnosis compared to the control group, thereby enabling the initiation of potentially life-saving anticoagulant therapy.

A Cleveland clinic study showed Kardia Mobile AFib detection accuracy similar to that of Doctors. Dr Khaldoun Tarakji from the Cleveland Clinic presented the iREAD Study which evaluated the accuracy of the AliveCor automatic AFib algorithm versus expert cardiology over-read of both the Kardia recordings and 12-lead ECGs. Dr Tarakji found that in 52 patients the Kardia algorithm had a 96.6% sensitivity and a 94% specificity compared to a cardiology over-read of the simultaneous 12-lead ECGs for the diagnosis of AFib. Additionally, over 93% of the patients found the Kardia to be easy to use and that it “lessened AFib-diagnosis anxiety.”

Another Study found that the Kardia Mobile was able to detect more patients with AFib that were previously undiagnosed. Dr Bryan Yan of The Chinese University of Hong Kong presented research of over 12,000 patients aged 65 and older. He found that for each 30-second ECG recorded using the Kardia Mobile, his team were able to identify more patients with previously undiagnosed AFib. This demonstrates the empirical value of convenient, inexpensive self-screening using the Kardia Mobile ECG.

Finally at the ECS Dr Ngai Yin Chan of Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong presented the AFinder Study which used community volunteers to perform opportunistic screening for AFib using AliveCor’ s Kardia Mobile in over 10,000 Hong Kong citizens age 50 and older. 244 participants were found to have AFib, with 74 of those previously undiagnosed. This study verifies that by using Kardia Mobile senior citizens who were not medical professionals could perform medical screening of their peers with successful identification of a serious medical condition.

These are examples of just some of the many published research articles from around the world which demonstrate that if the AliveCor Kardia Mobile ECG is trusted by Clinicians you can trust it to!

The economic case for the AliveCor Kardia Mobile ECG

The AliveCor Kardia Mobile ECG has swiftly become one of our more popular products. If you’ve not yet heard of it, the Kardia Mobile ECG is an incredibly handy and portable ECG monitor that is held in the patient’s hand. The only thing it needs is a smart phone with the Kardia app installed.

Using a single channel ECG monitor with automatic ECG evaluation, it can detect possible Atrial Fibrillation (AF). The smartphone application shows a real-time visualisation of the ECG recording, as well as historical data for comparisons.

The device has been popular for the home market, for those needing to track either their own or a relative’s health. However, there’s a serious economic case for the Kardia Mobile ECG to become a standard for surgeries. If surgeries have access to the mobile ECG, to be able to supply to patients, a lot of time can be saved.

Let’s first look at the current representative pathway for patients presenting with palpitations according to a case study from NHS Coastal West Sussex.

Patient present with palpitations > Sees GP > GP refers > Hospital receives letter > Consultant receives letter > Outpatients > 24hr ECG > Negative Test > Has 7-day ECG > Outpatients and decision > Has 7-day ECG > Outpatient and decision > Consider Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR) > Put on waiting list > Lost to system > Sees GP > GP writes letter > Hospital receives letter.

That’s quite a list, 18 steps in all. Goodness knows the time, resource and cost this entire process could be to the system.

Here’s a potential pathway with the Kardia:

Patient presents with palpitations > Sees GP > GP supplies Kardia Mobile ECG > Symptomatic trace > Sees GP > Advice and management.

Already, you can see where the Kardia Mobile ECG being part of your surgery’s strategy could save valuable time and money. The aforementioned case study does give some idea for the potential savings to be made.

The previously quoted pathway is costed up at £1305, nearly £6000 if the ILR (implantable loop recorder) is included. Whilst all of these steps and the costs suggested might not always be the case, it shows that it could be an expensive process. Taking into consideration that an estimated 2,000,000 people in the UK have Atrial Fibrillation, we simply must find a more sensible solution, the AliveCor Kardia Mobile ECG.

The same pathway, with the inclusion of the Kardia Mobile ECG being supplied comes in at just £172.50. That’s an incredible saving.

Across the country, that’s a potential saving of £2,265,000,000 (without ILR, £11,377,000,000 with ILR in every case) which is a staggering figure. This is no longer about whether surgeries ­should be supplying the Kardia Mobile ECG, it’s a case of when they start.

That time is now.

 

Hokanson Cuff Changes Are Ahead.

Hokanson whose range of vascular instruments, cuffs and accessories are distributed in the UK and Ireland by PMS Instruments recently announced some changes to their cuffs. All cuffs manufactured after 31st August 2017 will now be supplied with male bayonet connectors.

Hokanson vascular cuffs have been the standard in vascular laboratories and clinics throughout the world for over 40 years and as they have been using “leur” type connectors for many years why the change now?

As ever the idea is to make medical devices safer and in the case of “small bore connectors” which includes blood pressure and vascular cuffs minimize medical device tubing misconnections.

Small-bore connectors are parts used to connect medical devices such as tubing, syringes, IV lines and other accessories that deliver fluids and gases for patient care. Although thankfully rare, tubes using standard luer connectors but with different functions have in the past been mismatched and connected incorrectly.

In the USA the FDA provide several examples of this happening on their website including the case of a blood pressure cuff which was accidentally connected to an IV catheter.

The FDA, and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), decided to take action and IEC 80369-5:2016 was published in March 2016 to provide specifications for the small-bore connectors used with blood pressure cuffs. Hokanson have standardised on a male bayonet connector.

The following cuffs will be affected.

Hokanson UDC/UPC cuffs, the DP and SC cuffs that currently come with a Luer connector will be changed to a bayonet connector. This includes the SC10, SC12, TMC7 and SC5.

Hokanson cuffs with D rapid version hoses (SC12D, SC12LD, etc.) will remain unchanged. CC thigh cuffs will come with the bayonet connectors, and that connector can be cut off for use with an E20 rapid cuff inflator Y-connector (as with the Luer).

We will be providing Permanent Conversion Kits as well as Adaptor Kits to ensure compatibility and allow you to use legacy leur connector cuffs. Conversion kits are for permanent conversion of cuffs already being used that will change them to the new standard bayonet connector. Adapter kits are for customers who want to use both Luer and bayonet connectors, until all cuffs in use have bayonet connectors.

There is no requirement requiring customers to remove or stop using products currently in use from the market.

European Society of Cardiology. Diagnosis and timeley detection of AF.

 

I have recently been re-reading the 2016 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation (European Heart Journal (2016) 37, 2893–2962 doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehw210.

Of particular interest was the section on “Diagnosis and timely detection of atrial fibrillation” especially in the light of the popularity of the low cost clinically validated Kardia Mobile ECG from AliveCor.

In their latest review, when putting forward proposals to enhance current guidelines the ESC specify 4 different recommendation classes. A Class I recommendation is defined as

“Evidence and/or general agreement that a given treatment or procedure is beneficial, useful, effective”.

Within the section for screening for atrial fibrillation they have issued a class I recommendation that  

“Opportunistic screening for AF is recommended by pulse taking or ECG rhythm strip in patients >65 years of age”

Clearly that is advice worth taking but in a busy GP Practice, where appointment time is limited to 10 or 15 minutes and resources under pressure, is it always practical to carry out a 12 lead ECG to get a rhythm strip?

Fortunately technology has the answer and there is the Kardia Mobile ECG App for that!

For under £99 the Kardia Mobile and App produces a 30 second rhythm strip that has the same diagnostic accuracy as a 12 lead single channel ECG Lau JK, Lowres N, Neubeck L, Brieger DB, Sy RW, Galloway CD, et al. Int J Cardiol. 2013;165(1):193-4.

It is therefore ideal for use in Primary Care to implement the recommendations of the ESC. The ESC go on to say

“There is good evidence that prolonged ECG monitoring enhances the detection of undiagnosed AF, e.g. monitoring for 72 h after a stroke…and daily short-term ECG recordings increase AF detection in populations over 75 years of age”

Again the Kardia Mobile is ideally suited for regular home monitoring, for instance once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

As it records a 30 second rhythm strip in real time, it is ideal for capturing paroxysmal AF for later analysis by a GP or Cardiologist.

It can be used to replace manual pulse checks providing qualitative ECG evidence in 30 seconds.

There is also an association with high blood pressure and AF. The Kardia Mobile ECG can help here as well.

To save time during a consultation, as well as to opportunistically screen for AF, why not use a Kardia Mobile before taking a blood pressure reading?

In the UK NICE have provided guidance on this with NICE Guideline CG127 Hypertension in adults: diagnosis and management on whether to use an automatic or manual blood pressure device.

Clause 1.1.2 states

“Because automated devices may not measure blood pressure accurately if there is pulse irregularity (for example, due to atrial fibrillation), palpate the radial or brachial pulse before measuring blood pressure. If pulse irregularity is present, measure blood pressure manually using direct auscultation over the brachial artery.”

Using a clinically validated Kardia Mobile by AliveCor before taking a blood pressure reading can save time as well as ensuring the most appropriate (automatic or manual) BP device is used. For up to date independent reviews on the Kardia Mobile ECG or to purchase visit our website.

 

 

 

 

A history of A&D Medical

A History of A&D Medical

At PMS Instruments we’re proud of the fact that we are the UK’s largest distributor of A&D’s innovative blood pressure monitors for both home healthcare & healthcare professionals and have been since 1989!

A&D are an established and trusted blood pressure brand and with our near 30 year experience with them in the UK and Ireland I thought it a great opportunity to provide a little history, as PMS Instruments have been with them all the way!

Who are A&D? A history of innovation.

A multi-national Japanese company established in 1977 A&D are world leaders in measurement technology and launched their first blood pressure model the UA-102, in 1979. They use their unique skills in analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion technology to produce state-of-the-art equipment, including electronic balances, scales, weighing indicators and of course blood pressure monitors.

Success by investing heavily in Research & Development.

In 1984, they introduced their innovative oscillometric blood pressure measurement technology. Over time and backed up by numerous independent clinical studies the oscillometric method went on to become the standard method for digital blood pressure monitoring in both home healthcare and professional healthcare markets throughout the world.

2001 saw the first introduction of their unique Irregular Heartbeat Indicator in blood pressure monitors closely followed in 2003 by another innovation, the World Hypertension Society (WHO) blood pressure classification index. Both technologies are still in use today and found in millions of A&D blood pressure monitors worldwide.

Other innovative products like the iconic TM-2655P waiting room blood pressure monitor followed in 2002 with the Mercury free UM-101 sphygmomanometer arriving in 2005. New updated versions of these models were introduced last year (TM-2657P, UM-102).

Keeping up to date with Telemedicine, Telehealth and Wellness Connected.

In 2015, A&D launched their Wellness Connected app, giving patients the option of syncing their Blood Pressure results to their smartphone or tablet allowing users to manage and monitor their health, in one simple, easy-to-use app.

The latest innovation in A&D’s product range, the UM-201 Blood Pressure Monitor, has just been validated to the International Protocol and offers one-touch Oscillometric measurement, variable cuff sizes & is clinically validated for accuracy.

Why buy an A&D BP monitor and why buy it from PMS Instruments?

If I am asked this question I happily remind potential customers that A&Ds “Honmono” philosophy means they are one of the few manufacturers to focus on the consumer and professional blood pressure markets and as noted above have a proven pedigree and track record of accuracy and reliability.

Whether it is a monitor for home use, 24 hour ABPM or waiting room BP monitor here’s why you should purchase your A&D BP monitor from PMS Instruments.

  • Largest UK Distributor of A&D blood pressure monitors
  • NHS Supply Chain partner
  • ISO-9001 approved service, repair and warranty partner
  • Extensive A&D experience
  • 5* independent customer service approval
  • Latest current models in stock
  • Extensive range of spare parts and accessories from stock
  • Free demonstration and loan on some models

Are we doing enough to diagnose high blood pressure?

How often do you “Think BP”?

Did you know that in the UK alone, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), there are an estimated 7 million people with undiagnosed high Blood Pressure who don’t know they are at risk. Over 24% of people in England are estimated to have high Blood Pressure. At least half of all heart attacks and strokes are associated with high BP and it is a major risk factor for chronic kidney disease, heart failure and cognitive decline.

If these are the challenges facing Primary and Secondary Care the question is what can GP Practices, Hospitals and Clinical Commissioning Groups do to diagnose more patients with high blood pressure?

Can we do BP better and “Think BP”?

The BHF Guidance recommends key areas and stresses that clinicians should “Think BP” at every opportunity. I have separated their recommendations into a couple of key areas below where I think existing technology available from PMS Instruments could help.

Think BP in the Waiting Room— Consider giving patients access to a self-test blood pressure station in GP waiting rooms and Hospital Outpatient clinics. Professional, clinically validated monitors like the A&D Medical TM-2657P are designed for high volume use have been popular with GPs for many years and are now being used in Hospitals. They save both time and money in the long run and especially in a Hospital setting like a Renal Unit free up members of staff for other clinical duties.

Think BP during a consultation-Think BP and increase opportunistic screening in your GP Practice or Hospital. Make blood pressure testing routine for all patients attending clinics such as Renal, Sexual Health, Asthma, COPD, Diabetes, weight management, smoking cessation and other clinics. Patients can record their blood pressure in the GP or Hospital waiting room before they attend the clinic. The printed results can then be handed to the clinician during consultation saving time and staff resources.

For a trial, demonstration or to find out more about the TM-2657P call us today on 01628 773233.

Quality, customer service Feefo Gold Trusted Award

I am pleased to announce that PMS Instruments have won a Feefo Gold Service award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, rated by real customers.

Created by Feefo, Trusted Service is awarded to businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine ratings and reviews. A badge of honour, this accreditation remains unique as all the awards are based purely on the interactions with verified customers. This feedback has been collated by the Feefo review platform, with the accolades being awarded based upon performance.

PMS Instruments have met the criteria of achieving a Feefo service rating of between 4.5 and 5.0 between January 1st 2016 and December 31st 2016.

It’s a real honour to receive this award from Feefo. To be recognised for delivering exceptional experiences to our customers is a great achievement. We’ve been working hard to ensure our customers receive the best service possible, and being able to listen, understand and respond to their needs has enabled us to improve our offering in 2016. We have been working closely with all our customers to build trust and transparency online, and ultimately helping shoppers buy with confidence and make better decisions.

Feefo ensures that all feedback is authentic, by matching it to a legitimate transaction which combats the rising issue of fake reviews.

Our stand out product is the AliveCor Kardia mobile ECG with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 over the last year.

We’re looking forward to another successful year ahead. You can look at our latest reviews here.

AliveCor Kardia ECG Technology. Bringing Wearable Medtech and innovation to the NHS.

It’s not hard to get excited about the difference that innovations like the AliveCor Kardia mobile and Kardia Band ECG Watch could make to the NHS and its patients.

Both devices bring low cost wearable medtech to the NHS and capture medical grade ECG recordings using algorithms to monitor and manage heart arrhythmias. They can automatically detect atrial fibrillation (AF) which if undiagnosed can lead to strokes.

In the UK strokes kill 100,000 a year. Each one is estimated to cost the NHS between £9,500 and £14,000.

The financial impact of Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common type of arrhythmia, becomes more apparent when considering the cost to the UK economy as a whole which has been estimated to be £2.4 million.

That’s apart from the human impact strokes have on patients quality of life and their carers. Early detection then is crucial.

So how does the NHS currently identify these at risk patients?

As a busy GP at the moment when patients visit you, depending on their age and medical profile they may receive a simple manual pulse check. If you have time you count their pulse over 60 seconds. If you don’t you count to 30 and multiple the figure by 2!

The problem with a manual pulse check is that it remains a ‘one off’ check. An assessment of an irregular heart rhythm with this method is a snap shot in time and in part relies on chance to identify at risk patients, especially those with asymptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

Depending on the result you may or may not then refer to secondary care for a 24 hour or 7 day Holter ECG to confirm the findings. The CCG will remind you there is a cost for this oh and probably a waiting list!

The existing pathway takes the time and resources of both you, your patients and the NHS.

What can AliveCor technology and innovation do to help?

The AliveCor Kardia Mobile and Kardia Band ECG devices offers huge benefits in early diagnosis of AF as they allow simple validated, quantitative and qualitative assessment of a patient’s ECG and heart health using a smart phone App.

 

With AliveCor ECG technology patients can record a 30 second medical grade ECG unobtrusively at any time helping reduce appointment times and detect AF.

At a time when Primary Care resources are under real pressure it means less time and money is wasted on nurse appointments, resources and follow ups for the NHS and patients.

It also means the anxiety some patients feel about their condition can be removed and they can take a proactive role in their heart health.

The wider adoption of AliveCor technology by the NHS and Primary Care will be a big step forward. It’s one to watch for sure.

The AliveCor Kardia Mobile costs £94.99 and the Kardia Band for the Apple Watch costs £226. Buy both from our web site.

 

Is 24 Hour ABPM Still An Indispensable Tool In The Management Of Hypertension?

Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement (ABPM) has been used increasingly in clinical practice over the last 30 years. With the rise and adoption of low cost home blood pressure monitoring is it still an indispensable tool in the management of hypertensives in General Practice?

I first asked this question in an article I wrote for Practice Management magazine in 2010. I concluded that it was but in the intervening years is this still the case?

In the light of clinical developments and the publication of guidelines like NICE Guideline CG127 on Hypertension in 2011 and latest update in November 2016 is it still relevant?

Some background

In recognition of the importance of ABPM, the British Hypertension Society (now the British and Irish Hypertension Society), the European Society of Hypertension and NICE CG127 have all published guidelines for the use and interpretation of ABPM in clinical practice.

Traditionally, hypertensive patients had been assessed using clinic based blood pressure readings by a Nurse or Doctor. This changed in 2011 and recognition was formally given to the importance of using 24 hour ABPM monitoring.

The old “snapshot” approach to blood pressure measurement could give inconsistencies and over-estimate a patient’s blood pressure by anything up to 30mmHg.

The so called White Coat Hypertension, leading to elevated blood pressure is well documented and can lead to unnecessary prescription of hypertensive medicines. This has a profound clinical and financial relevance to Primary Care and can lead to inappropriate diagnosis and treatment. Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitors provide much more consistent readings over a 24-hour period and give multiple measurements throughout the day and night.

CardioVisions NICE Software keeps it simple.

Modern ABPM software can produce a plethora of statistics and data which even for experienced clinicians can be overwhelming.

As a response to this and in view of the 2011 NICE guidelines we introduced our CardioVisions NICE software. This provided a meaningful textual analysis ensuring clinicians got reporting continuity to a recognised clinical standard as well as importantly saving Doctor and Nurse time. It’s compatible with the Meditech ABPMs and a typical report may read something like this.

“The ABPM was worn by the patient for 24 hours. During this period the average daytime blood pressure was 169/118 and the pulse rate was 88 beats per minute. According to NICE guidelines the patient exhibits stage 2 hypertension. The examination was divided into day 06:00-22:00, night 22:00-06:00. 64 successful readings were taken during the daytime period and the NICE key quality requirement for 14 has been met. During the daytime there were 64 readings (100.0%) above the NICE guideline figure of 135/85. The highest reading was 202/134 recorded at 9:15 22/05/1997. During the night time period 24 successful readings were taken and the average blood pressure was 135/87.”

The detailed stats, graphs and readings are still there for those that want them but the textual analysis summary can be copied and pasted into the patient notes and also attached to popular clinical management systems like EMIS Web and SystmOne. There is no annual licence fee and multiple copies can be installed.

What about home blood pressure monitoring?

The cost of clinically validated home blood pressure monitors has fallen since 2010 and a number of GP Practices have been loaning monitors like the UA-767S-W to patients. Home monitoring is great for the small number of patients that find ambulatory blood pressure monitoring inconvenient or difficult tolerate but it’s not ideal for everyone and can be difficult to manage in practice.

For home blood pressure monitoring NICE recommend patients should measure their blood pressure twice a day, ideally once in the morning and once in the evening, while sitting down. Each time they do this, they should take two readings, 1 minute apart. They should continue to measure their blood pressure twice daily for at least 4 days and ideally for 7 days. Some patients may find this onerous and patient compliance can vary. A 24 hour monitor is only worn for 24 hours!

All the measurements taken after the first day are used to work out average day time blood pressure but again this can be time consuming and may be subject to error.

Whilst home blood pressure monitoring gives multiple readings, it relies on proper patient technique, patient training and compliance for up to seven days to give meaningful results.

As a complementary technique to 24 hour ABPM it can be useful to monitor patients with long term chronic conditions such as diabetes and coronary heart disease.

On the flip side the detail, automatic analysis and reporting, 24 hour ABPM provides with very little user or patient input just isn’t available with home blood pressure monitoring.

Night time readings cannot be recorded and for many 24 hour ABPM remains the “Gold Standard”.

So why doesn’t everyone use 24 hour ABPM?

For some the initial cost is off putting but the cost of 24 hour ABPM monitors has fallen since 2010.

The latest 24 hour BP monitors like the Meditech ABPM-04 and ABPM-05 are reliable with low running costs, long warranties and a low overall cost of ownership.

PMS Instruments now offer a flexible rental ABPM service which means cost can be spread over several months and for a low monthly fee service and calibration is covered.

“Is 24 Hour ABPM Still An Indispensable Tool In Management Of Hypertension?” my answer would still be yes.

To arrange a free trial of one of our latest ABPM monitors and find out for yourself please contact us on 01628 773233.

PMS Instruments. Expertise, Experience and Trust for service, calibration and support.

These are the key words our customers associate with PMS Instruments as well as being the fundamental foundations of our calibration and service department.

I recently posted on Facebook a picture of an A&D Medical TM-2655P waiting room blood pressure monitor that had recorded a staggering 103366 readings since we originally supplied it in 2004!

Having visited the R&D centre in Japan I know the engineering quality, research and development that A&D Medical put into the design and manufacturer of their products but was intrigued and asked one of our service engineers to give me the service history of the monitor over the last 12 years.

We keep detailed service and calibration records for every item of equipment we service and repair. The monitor had a new cuff mechanism fitted in 2007 which we replaced under warranty but other than that had had no other parts fitted just regular, routine and preventative maintenance.

What’s the secret of this reliability and low cost of ownership?

I am convinced it is regular, preventative and routine servicing by PMS Instruments which extends the in service life of the monitors and prolongs the investment our customers make in their equipment.

Why do I think this? There are any number of medical companies that visit GP surgeries in the UK offering to service and calibrate a wide range of blood pressure monitoring equipment. That may be the case but the TM-2655P and TM-2657P waiting room blood pressure monitors are specialist instruments, requiring specialist knowledge and test equipment.

So what are you actually getting from us and how does our service differ?

With our service and calibration service each monitor is subjected to an approved individual ISO-9001 quality assured Work Instruction. This comprises a series of up to 70 detailed steps our service engineers must follow and which the product must pass in accordance with the manufacturer’s service manuals. You get so much more from PMS Instruments than the basic 10 minute on site functional test some companies offer.

You get what you pay for?

Depending on the model it can take up to 90 minutes for our Service Engineers to adjust, calibrate and service an A&D Medical waiting room blood pressure monitor and we are the experts at it! Rapid turnaround time means minimum downtime and a full service and calibration certificate is issued.

Not convinced and want to use another company?

To ensure you are getting a proper and professional service for your A&D Medical waiting room blood pressure monitor and compare like for like ask your current service provider these questions.

  • Are you authorised by A&D Medical to work on this equipment?
  • Have the service engineers working on your equipment been on an A&D training course?
  • Do you follow a preventative service and maintenance schedule?
  • Do you perform an internal inspection of the equipment?
  • Do you check and replace routine original service parts?
  • Do you use an A&D Medical BP Checker?

Was it yes to all of these?

I was happy for the customer that their A&D Medical waiting room blood pressure monitor had provided so many years of reliable and trouble free service.

Has your TM-2655P monitor reached 100000 + readings during its lifetime yet? If your current service company can’t tell you call us on 01628 773233 and we will.

The secret by the way is Test Mode 41 or is it 42!

The missing 5.5 million with undiagnosed high BP.

A new resource – Blood Pressure – How Can We Do Better? – has just been launched and can be accessed at the British Heart Foundation website.

It has been developed by stakeholders including GPs, nurses and pharmacists working with organizations including NHS England, Public Health England, the British Heart Foundation, the Stroke Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

It is well known that high blood pressure affects one in four adults in England and is one of the leading causes of premature death in England. At least half of all heart attacks and strokes are associated with high blood pressure.

Treatment thankfully is very effective – for every 10mmHg reduction in blood pressure, the risk of a life changing heart attack or stroke is reduced by 20%.

What’s the challenge?

Finding undiagnosed hypertensives, around 25000 in the average CCG or 5.5 million in England, unaware of their increased risk and not receiving treatment is the challenge. It’s also worth remembering that of those diagnosed with high BP, one in three, are not treated to target.

GP Practices and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGS) need to do things differently to improve detection and increase opportunistic screening.

What practical steps should GP Practices take?

Think BP! Whether in routine consultations, or in nurse led clinics, like COPD, asthma and diabetes. Encourage opportunistic screening and ensure identification of poor BP control is the responsibility of all clinicians.

Think BP! In accordance with NICE CG127 guideline on Hypertension always offer ambulatory 24 hour blood pressure monitoring or when appropriate home blood pressure monitoring to confirm a diagnosis of high BP. Ensure BP equipment is serviced and calibrated regularly by reputable third parties with experience of the devices you use.

Think BP! Use clinically validated waiting room self-test BP monitors like the A&D Medical TM-2657P to make it easier to collect BP data, save appointment time and empower patients to actively use this equipment.

Think BP! Advise patients of the option to buy clinically validated low cost blood pressure monitors like the UA-767S from established suppliers so they can monitor their blood pressure at home.

There is also a role for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) who need to do things differently to improve detection, support GP Practices and increase opportunistic screening.

They can use the BHF website to see how many people in their CCG have undiagnosed high blood pressure.

How do we diagnose more patients with high blood pressure?

Time pressured consultations and other clinical priorities are a factor and simply mean in many instances there isn’t enough time to record a blood pressure. The answer is the wider adoption of technology like the A&D Medical TM-2657P waiting room BP monitor and doing things differently.

How does it work?

Patient self-measurement of blood pressure using A&D waiting room blood pressure monitors have been used in the UK since PMS Instruments introduced them in 2002. They are an established part of many GP Practices hypertension diagnosis and management pathways. Put simply the patient records their blood pressure which is printed on a paper slip. This is then shown to the clinician during the consultation. The readings can be input to the patient’s clinical record.

What does the future for detection and management of high BP hold?

With no extra capacity at present the situation won’t be improved by GP’s working harder. It may be improved by doing things differently, changing the system and the wider adoption of new technology. If you are a GP Practice, CCG or GP Federation and want to find out more about the latest BP measuring technology contact me.

SysToe – Putting your Patient’s Feet First

In this digital day and age, you might not be surprised to hear me ask if you’ve had your digital pressure taken recently? Of course, I mean your toe and finger pressure – simple to forget but important not to ignore.

Today, we’re specifically talking about Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which is when the arteries to the legs get either completely or partially blocked, most commonly due to atherosclerotic (cholesterol) plaques. These blockages lead to intermittent claudication, a leg pain in the patient’s calf as a result of walking, which eases at rest. Many might consider this calf pain as fairly normal, and ignore the symptoms, especially if they felt normal again when resting. If Peripheral Arterial Disease is left unchecked, it may become more advanced, eventually leading to pain at rest, leg ulcers and even gangrene.

PAD has previously been diagnosed with a physical examination by a GP, who would compare blood pressure in the patient’s arm and ankle. A difference in the two readings would be a possible indication of PAD. Whilst this technique has been in use for over half a century, it comes with problems; most notably the need for operator training and that the patient can experience some discomfort throughout the process. We now have the ‘SysToe’ machine, meaning PAD can be quite easily diagnosed with a simple reading of the Toe Brachial Index (TBI). This reading can also be used following diagnosis to track disease and help aid recovery.

So why is the SysToe system so great?

The SysToe system is a fully automated clinically validated patented device. It is not operator dependent so gives reliable and repeatable measurements. This not only saves on NHS time and money, but also helps to create more accurate diagnosis than ever before. It’s the full automation which make the SysToe so great; once the cuff and the sensor are placed on the toe (an easy job for anyone to do), just press the START button for cuff inflation and deflation to take place at the data value displayed within three minutes.

For the quick assessment of lower limb arterial diseases, the SysToe is a must have piece of equipment. Fast measurements, accurate and reproducible results, time & money saving; can your surgery or clinic not afford to have one?

Automated External Defibrillator training will be a necessity for workplaces in 2017

If you’re a work place First Aider, or even just work somewhere with a designated trained first aider, then it’s important that you read this blog. Some may not know yet, but from the start of 2017 all HSE trained workplace first aiders will be required to have training in the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). If you’re an employer, this change in regulation does not mean that all current qualified workplace first aiders have to be retrained; this extra skill will be included when they re-qualify. It also doesn’t mean that you will need to purchase a defibrillator for your workplace, unless of course your needs assessment informs you to do so – read on though; maybe it’s important you do.

Why has this change come into place?

Quite simply, it’s about the potential to save more lives. The average person could think that someone who might need a defibrillator would be having a heart attack; in fact they are most likely not. A defibrillator is generally used in the case of Sudden Cardiac Arrest – an electrical fault in the heart causing it to quiver, and not send blood around the body and to the brain. Victims of a heart attack will usually remain conscious, have prior warning symptoms and with proper treatment, many will survive. With Sudden Cardiac Arrest, there’s rarely a warning, consciousness will always be lost and in 90-95% of cases, there will be loss of life. That is unless defibrillation shock is administered within 10 minutes of the initial collapse – this is why this new training initiative is so vital.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is actually the leading cause of death in Europe, affecting around 700,000 people each year. Those sorts of figures are quite frightening. If defibrillation is provided within a few minutes of collapse then those figures could be cut dramatically. In fact, one study of Casinos with AEDs on site found that survival rates of around 74% could be achieved!

What are the signs of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Unlike a Heart Attack, SCA will usually occur without warning. The victim will collapse, stop breathing and ultimately lose consciousness. There are two essential steps to try and help that person to survive. The first, as mentioned, is defibrillation as soon as possible. The other step is calling 999 – defibrillation will help, but the victim will require urgent medical assistance.

For every minute following SCA, chances of survival drop 10% without defibrillation. Emergency crews take an average of 6 to 12 minutes to arrive. It’s time to make the AED, and AED trained staff essential for every single place of business in Europe.

We distribute the Physio Control range of Lifepak AED defibrillators which includes AED trainers.

Know Your Numbers Week 12 – 18th September

The 12th to the 18th of September this year sees the return of ‘Know your Numbers’, a Blood Pressure UK run awareness campaign to promote blood pressure testing. KYN was first launched in 2001 and has since gone on to encourage around 1.5 million people to have their blood pressure checked. The idea is that we should all know our blood pressures like we know our height and weight.

For me, that’s a great analogy. If you weigh yourself and realise you’ve put on a few pounds, then you might start eating a bit differently or moving a bit more. The difference, however, is that with weight gain you have a visual clue before anything else. Blood Pressure is only known once tested, but knowing those figures and tracking the changes could one day save your life.

As part of KYN week, ‘Pressure Stations’ will be setup all around the country at the more obvious venues such as GP surgeries, hospitals and health clubs, but also shopping centres and supermarkets, so it should be easy for everyone to get checked out.

At P.M.S (Instruments), we think this is a great initiative, and hope it does it a lot of good, but we can’t forget that we’re here to supply both surgeries with the equipment they need and also those at home or in the private healthcare sector. With that in mind, we’d like to share some news on two great new products.

The A&D TM-2657P is the follow up to the TM-2655P, popular with GPs as it saves consultation time. This is particularly useful at this time of year when it comes to screening elderly patients who are having the flu jab in large volumes. My favourite new feature of this machine is the added value of the Irregular Heartbeat Indicator (IHB) function – a highly useful new feature. Check out the write up below for some more specs!

The other great new Blood Pressure Monitor is the A&D UA-767-S, which is the latest in a generation of models of the same name. This is a really portable BPM, which makes it perfect for either home use, those who are regularly out and about on home visits or just in the surgery. Another brilliant bit of kit from A&D, again, check below for full specs!

Here at PMS, we’re proud to have a 40 year plus history of supplying technology you can trust. We’ve been the main A&D UK distributer since 1990 (A&D have been making Blood Pressure Monitors since 1979) so we can guarantee the best equipment and a genuine pedigree. For is, this is the perfect marriage to support the upcoming Know Your Numbers week.

 

A&D TM-2657PA&D TM-2657P – For Waiting Room Use

Key features

  • User-friendly with small footprint
  • BHS AA grade clinical validation 
  • Simple one-touch fully automatic measurement
  • Accurate and reliable Torque Controlled Belt drive Method
  • Antibacterial inner arm cuff cover
  • Easy load paper tray
  • Reliable high speed printer with easy paper replacement
  • Irregular Heart Beat (IHB) indicated on printout

 

The TM-2657P is the latest waiting room blood pressure monitor from A&D Medical. It builds on the speed, reliability and accuracy of the previous TM-2655P, which it replaces, but now features a new ergonomic, modern, compact design. The new integrated armrest helps ensure the patient’s arm is comfortable and in the correct position during a measurement.

A new antibacterial arm cuff cover is also now fitted as standard with the TM-2657P. Designed and engineered in Japan, the new TM-2657P has a faster printout speed and offers added optional connectivity features including Bluetooth.

The “Torque Controlled Belt drive Method” (TCBM) cuff mechanism in the TM-2657P provides sophisticated automatic cuff size adjustment, ensuring the arm is positioned correctly for accurate high speed measurement, first time, every time.

With a centrally located simple one-button operation, it can be used on children (13 years or above) and adults with either the left or right arm. After the reading, the results are output to the inbuilt thermal printer with the date, time systolic, diastolic and pulse rate clearly displayed. New printing options also permit the inclusion of a barcode or QR code on the print out.

The printout will also display (if present) an irregular heartbeat symbol. An irregular heartbeat is defined as a heartbeat that varies by 25% from the average of all heartbeats during the blood pressure measurement.

Like the previous model, the TM-2657P looks set to be popular with GP Practices looking for a clinically validated, easy to use professional waiting room blood pressure monitor.

 

 

Key features

  • Compact size and weight (140(w) x 60(h) x 105(d) mm weighs (245g) ex batteries
  • Advanced Oscillometric method for hospital accuracy
  • 60 reading memory with average
  • Correct cuff fit and movement detector
  • Irregular heartbeat indicator with frequency detected
  • WHO blood pressure classification index
  • European Society of Hypertension International Protocol clinical validation
  • Five- year warranty
  • Battery or mains (optional extra) operation

The frequency of IHB (Irregular Heart Beat) detection is divided into different grades and shown by icons.

  • 0-24% : No Indication
  • 25-49% : Grade 1
  • 50-74% : Grade 2
  • 75-100% : Grade 3

The latest A&D Medical UA-767S builds on the popularity, accuracy and reliability of the original UA-767 series but it adds additional new advanced features. It is a popular upper arm blood pressure monitor with a 60 reading memory with averaging function, cuff fit and movement error functions and a simple one-button operation. This model features a new Irregular Heartbeat Indicator (IHB) function, which identifies the frequency of IHB by dividing the number of IHBs by the total number of readings taken to grade the occurrence of IHB accordingly. The more frequent the IHB appears the greater the risk. This feature is for monitoring purposes only. The UA-767S is supplied with a standard 22-32cm cuff. For customers with a larger arm we recommend the UA-767S-W, which has a 22-42cm cuff. It has a proven reliability record and is used extensively in the UK.

 

24/7 ABPM Guidelines Revisited

NICE clinical guideline 127 states that ABPM monitoring is the most accurate method for confirming a diagnosis of hypertension, and its use should reduce unnecessary treatment in people who do not have true hypertension. Originally published in 2013 it was updated in September 2015.

In a recent review with our technical support team I asked them what were the practical questions they were most frequently asked about the guideline and ABPM in general.

I thought I would share the results on our Blog as they may be of interest to other ABPM customers. In no particular order this is what they told me.

Continue reading “24/7 ABPM Guidelines Revisited”

Blood Pressure And Diabetes

Having diabetes can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, because diabetes adversely affects the arteries and can cause atherosclerosis – a narrowing of the arteries. This can cause high blood pressure, which if not treated, can lead to further blood vessel damage, stroke, heart failure, heart attack or kidney failure.

High blood pressure can also increase the risk of diabetes complications such as diabetic eye and kidney problems.

What are the symptoms of high blood pressure?

Usually, high blood pressure causes no symptoms. This is why it is so important to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis, either during a visit to your doctor or diabetic nurse, or through home blood pressure monitoring – using equipment such as A&D’s UA-767S device ideal for consumer home use.

This model makes it easy to track you blood pressure over time and features an Irregular Heartbeat Indicator and World Hypertension Society blood pressure classification index.

Information on how to correctly measure blood pressure can be found on the British Hypertension Society website. At £36 the monitor can be purchased here

Kardia Mobile ECG. What’s in a name?

The AliveCor Mobile ECG is now Kardia Mobile by AliveCor and the AliveECG app is now the Kardia App.

Why change the name? Kardia is more than just a new brand. Users of Kardia and Kardia Mobile will benefit from new features including:

Support for voice memos to provide subjective context to EKG recordings

  • Integration with Apple’s Health app and Google Fit to fuel more robust, personal heart health reports in addition to EKG recordings
  • An optional subscription service (Kardia Premium) to provide personalized reports and a detailed ECG recording history via the Journal
  • All users will have access to a free Kardia Premium trial through September 30, 2016.In addition to these new features, the new Kardia Band for Apple Watch, will enable you to record your ECG and capture a voice memo discreetly from your wrist. Kardia Band is pending 510K clearance and CE mark, and will be available for purchase later in the year.

Kardia by AliveCor lets you take a proactive role in your heart’s health by giving you the ability to record medical-grade EKGs anytime, anywhere, easily. In just 30 seconds, Kardia shows you whether your heart rhythm is normal or if atrial fibrillation (a leading cause of stroke) is detected in your EKG. Kardia delivers accurate results, and makes it easy to share EKG data with your doctor for analysis and diagnosis. Works with Apple iOS and most Android smartphones and tablets. Requires download of the free Kardia app, available on the App Store and Google Play.

The Kardia by AliveCor can be purchased by visiting www.pmsinstruments.co.uk

The right monitor for the job?

All blood pressure monitors are really all the same aren’t they? Which is the most accurate? I’m confused as all BP monitors seem to be the same. What about reliability and durability?

These are some of the questions our sales team are frequently asked and it’s true many digital blood pressure monitors offer similar features and claim to offer similar “clinically validated accuracy”.

But what about durability and reliability?

Continue reading “The right monitor for the job?”

Waiting Room Blood Pressure Monitors Rebooted

The TM-2657P is the latest waiting room blood pressure monitor from A&D Medical. It builds on the speed, reliability and accuracy of the previous TM-2655P, which it replaces, but now features a new ergonomic, modern, compact design.

The new integrated arm rest helps ensure the patient’s arm is comfortable and in the correct position during a measurement. A new antibacterial arm cuff cover is also now fitted as standard with the TM-2657P.

Designed and engineered in Japan, the new TM-2657P has a faster printout speed and offers added optional connectivity features including Bluetooth.

The “Torque Controlled Belt drive Method” (TCBM) cuff mechanism in the TM-2657P provides sophisticated automatic cuff size adjustment, ensuring the arm is positioned correctly for accurate high speed measurement, first time, every time.

With a centrally located simple one button operation, it can be used on children (13 years or above) and adults with either the left or right arm.

After the reading, the results are output to the inbuilt thermal printer with the date, time systolic, diastolic and pulse rate clearly displayed. New printing options also permit the inclusion of a barcode or QR code on the print out.

The printout will also display (if present) an irregular heartbeat symbol. An irregular heartbeat is defined as a heartbeat that varies by 25% from the average of all heartbeats during the blood pressure measurement.

Like the previous model, the TM-2657P looks set to be popular with GP Practices looking for a clinically validated, easy to use professional waiting room blood pressure monitor.

Does anyone still use Mercury Sphygmomanometers?

The UM-102A is the latest second generation Mercury free sphygmomanometer from Japanese company A&D Medical. It builds on the reliability and accuracy of the previous model, which it replaces, but now features a new ergonomic, modern, lightweight design.

Designed for professional use, it allows clinicians to record accurate blood pressure measurements using the “Gold Standard” Auscultatory measurement technique whilst listening for Korotkoff sounds with a stethoscope.

An extensive range of latex free compatible cuffs, with “quick fit” connectors and inflation bulbs already attached, make swapping cuffs quick and simple.

The adjustable, clear, anti-glare LCD screen is graduated just like Mercury so it is easy to read from any angle.

Sales of new Mercury sphygmomanometers were banned in the UK in 2014, but the UM-102A is an alternative clinically validated modern interpretation of the traditional Mercury sphygmomanometer.