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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has endorsed a digital tool designed to improve the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) which was developed by Dr Nicholas Boeckx, a GP based in the West Midlands.

AF is a heart condition that affects around 1.2 million people across the UK and is thought to be the most common heart rhythm disturbance. The tool is being rolled out to 4,166 practices which utilise the EMIS Web clinical system.

From a consultation screen, the tool works from within a patient’s records and allows GPs to view the decision support to help assess, monitor and treat AF.

It considers variables including height, weight, age, serum creatinine, medical history and existing medication in order to calculate and monitor the proper doses of anticoagulants to treat the condition.

Nicola Bent, director of the System Engagement Programme at NICE, said: “We’re pleased to endorse this resource which supports clinicians in primary care to make treatment decisions about patients with atrial fibrillation. This makes it easier for clinicians to implement NICE guidance and ensure these patients receive improved, personalised treatment to meet their individual needs.”

Dr Boeckx said: “What the AF tool gives hard-pressed GPs is relevant information instantly from within the patient’s record. It makes it much easier, safer and quicker to get patients on the right dose of medication.”

“And by better understanding individual patients’ risks, I hope we can help cut the all-too-high number of those suffering stroke and other complications such as heart attack, limb amputation and dementia.”

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