NICE medical technology guidance
Issued: January 2013
MTG13

WatchBP Home A for opportunistically detecting atrial fibrillation during diagnosis and monitoring of hypertension

This is an extract from the guidance. The complete guidance is available at guidance.nice.org.uk/mtg13

1 Recommendations

NICE medical technologies guidance addresses specific technologies notified to NICE by sponsors. The 'case for adoption' is based on the claimed advantages of introducing the specific technology compared with current management of the condition. This case is reviewed against the evidence submitted and expert advice. If the case for adopting the technology is supported, then the technology has been found to offer advantages to patients and the NHS. The specific recommendations on individual technologies are not intended to limit use of other relevant technologies which may offer similar advantages.

1.1 The case for adopting WatchBP Home A in the NHS, for opportunistically detecting asymptomatic atrial fibrillation during the measurement of blood pressure by primary care professionals, is supported by the evidence. The available evidence suggests that the device reliably detects atrial fibrillation and may increase the rate of detection when used in primary care. This would allow prophylactic treatment to be given to reduce the incidence of atrial fibrillation-related stroke. WatchBP Home A should be considered for use in people with suspected hypertension and those being screened or monitored for hypertension, in primary care.

1.2 People suspected of having atrial fibrillation after use of WatchBP Home A should have an electrocardiogram (ECG) in line with NICE clinical guideline 36, Atrial fibrillation.

1.3 Use of WatchBP Home A in primary care is associated with estimated overall cost savings per person measured, ranging from £2.98 for those aged between 65 and 74 years to £4.26 for those aged 75 years and over. There is uncertainty about the costs and benefits for people younger than 65, however it is plausible that using the device in this group will benefit patients and the healthcare system. Cost analyses did not support the use of the device by patients in their homes.