Software-based detection of atrial fibrillation in long-term ECGs

  • Haeberlin A
  • Roten L
  • Schilling M
 et al. 
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Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is common and may have severe consequences. Continuous long-term electrocardiogram (ECG) is widely used for AF screening. Recently, commercial ECG analysis software was launched, which automatically detects AF in long-term ECGs. It has been claimed that such tools offer reliable AF screening and save time for ECG analysis. However, this has not been investigated in a real-life patient cohort. Objective To investigate the performance of automatic software-based screening for AF in long-term ECGs. Methods Two independent physicians manually screened 22,601 hours of continuous long-term ECGs from 150 patients for AF. Presence, number, and duration of AF episodes were registered. Subsequently, the recordings were screened for AF by an established ECG analysis software (Pathfinder SL), and its performance was validated against the thorough manual analysis (gold standard). Results Sensitivity and specificity for AF detection was 98.5% (95% confidence interval 91.72%-99.96%) and 80.21% (95% confidence interval 70.83%-87.64%), respectively. Software-based AF detection was inferior to manual analysis by physicians (P

Author-supplied keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial fibrillation detection
  • Long-term ECG
  • Software
  • Software-based analysis

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  • Andreas Haeberlin

  • Manuel Schilling

  • Flavio Scarcia

  • Thomas Niederhauser

  • Rolf Vogel

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