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UK's NICE recommends Medtronic's device to detect abnormal heartbeat

The U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended Medtronic PLC's Reval LINQ heart monitor for routine adoption on the National Health Service.

The agency gave the nod to the implantable cardiac monitor to identify people with atrial fibrillation after a stroke with no identified cause, known as cryptogenic stroke, or an ischemic attack — a mini-stroke caused by temporary loss of blood supply to the brain.

Reval LINQ is implanted under the skin in the chest to track the heart's activity over a long period of time, transmitting data back to the patient's doctor via a mobile phone network.

Cryptogenic stroke patients have a high chance of recurrent stroke and require an accurate diagnosis to receive preventive therapy.

According to data presented to the U.K. body, atrial fibrillation after a cryptogenic stroke was detected in five times more people using a Reveal monitor for six months compared with people who did not have the device implanted.

Clinical experts have noted that noninvasive ECG-monitoring should be carried out prior to using the Reveal LINQ, NICE said in its news release.

The cost of the Reveal LINQ is £1,800 plus the cost of implanting the device. In assessing the device, it was assumed that people with an implantable cardiac monitor would have one face-to-face follow up a month after the procedure and then would be remotely monitored.

NICE diagnostic guidance is nonmandatory, but it is considered best practice for the NHS to implement it.