Screening Process



The screening process

If you are invited to screening and choose to take part in screening, you will be contacted by the trial team to make arrangements to send the ECG recording device to you at home. The device will be accompanied by full instructions for how to use it.

If you have any questions about how to use the device please contact the trial team. We are happy to answer any questions and talk you through the ECG recording process. Information about how to use the device can be found on our ‘how to use the ECG device’ page. There is also a patient video which shows the device in use (click here to watch the video) and highlights good recording technique.

Screening at home

You will be asked to record an ECG 4 times per day, for 3 weeks, and also if you feel that your heart is beating irregularly.

The trial team may call you during the 3 weeks screening to see how you are getting on.

At the end of the 3 weeks you will need to return the ECG device to the trial team by posting it back using the Freepost envelope provided.

The results

Your practice will inform you of your screening result and whether any action is required.

The treatment

If you are found to have AF, you will be invited to attend a consultation with your GP to discuss taking standard blood thinning (anticoagulant) medication. Anticoagulant medication significantly reduces the risk of the AF causing a stroke and heart attack. This medication is not part of the research.

If you and your GP agree it is a good idea, you will be prescribed this medication (usually in the form of oral tablets). It is likely that you will need to take this for the rest of your life. As with all medication there are risks associated with taking anticoagulant medication. The most serious is an increased risk of major haemorrhage (bleeding). Your GP will assess your risk of stroke and your risk of major bleeding and help you make a decision to treat based on the balance of these risks.

During the COVID-19 pandemic your GP practice may conduct consultations by phone or video link. They will follow all current local guidelines.

Please see the FAQ page for answers to commonly-asked questions about taking part in AF screening and using the device.