Aims: Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a common complication of cardiac surgery, yet difficult to detect in ambulatory patients. The primary aim of this study is to investigate the effect of a mobile health (mHealth) intervention on POAF detection after cardiac surgery.
Methods and results: We performed an observational cohort study among 730 adult patients who underwent cardiac surgery at a tertiary care hospital in The Netherlands. Of these patients, 365 patients received standard care and were included as a historical control group, undergoing surgery between December 2017 and September 2018, and 365 patients were prospectively included from November 2018 and November 2020, undergoing an mHealth intervention which consisted of blood pressure, temperature, weight, and electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring. One physical outpatient follow-up moment was replaced by an electronic visit. All patients were requested to fill out a satisfaction and quality of life questionnaire. Mean age in the intervention group was 62 years, 275 (70.4%) patients were males. A total of 4136 12-lead ECGs were registered. In the intervention group, 61 (16.7%) patients were diagnosed with POAF vs. 25 (6.8%) patients in the control group [adjusted risk ratio (RR) of POAF detection: 2.15; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.55-3.97]. De novo atrial fibrillation was found in 13 patients using mHealth (6.5%) vs. 4 control group patients (1.8%; adjusted RR 3.94, 95% CI: 1.50-11.27).
Conclusion: Scheduled self-measurements with mHealth devices could increase the probability of detecting POAF within 3 months after cardiac surgery. The effect of an increase in POAF detection on clinical outcomes needs to be addressed in future research.
Keywords: Cardiac surgical procedures; Coronary artery bypass grafting; Postoperative atrial fibrillation; Remote patient monitoring; eHealth; mHealth.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.