Emerging Technologies for Identifying Atrial Fibrillation

Circ Res. 2020 Jun 19;127(1):128-142. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.316342. Epub 2020 Jun 18.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality globally, and much of this is driven by challenges in its timely diagnosis and treatment. Existing and emerging mobile technologies have been used to successfully identify AF in a variety of clinical and community settings, and while these technologies offer great promise for revolutionizing AF detection and screening, several major barriers may impede their effectiveness. The unclear clinical significance of device-detected AF, potential challenges in integrating patient-generated data into existing healthcare systems and clinical workflows, harm resulting from potential false positives, and identifying the appropriate scope of population-based screening efforts are all potential concerns that warrant further investigation. It is crucial for stakeholders such as healthcare providers, researchers, funding agencies, insurers, and engineers to actively work together in fulfilling the tremendous potential of mobile technologies to improve AF identification and management on a population level.

Keywords: Food and Drug Administration device approval; atrial fibrillation; direct-to-consumer screening; electrocardiography; medical devices; wearable devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Computers, Handheld / standards
  • Electrocardiography / instrumentation
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Heart Rate Determination / instrumentation
  • Heart Rate Determination / methods*
  • Humans
  • Wearable Electronic Devices / standards