Updated: Nov 10, 2020
We are pleased to announce that as part of #NationalFootWeek ( March 9th to March 15th 2020) we will be introducing an additional diagnostic test to all patients as part of an Initial Podiatry Assessment.
The test is a medical grade Electrocardiogram otherwise known as an ECG or an EKG and has been developed by AliveCor. AliveCor are a world leading manufacturer of technologically advanced medical devices.
A possible outcome from the ECG is the discovery of a heart condition called Atrial Fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation ( AF) is the most common cause of an irregular heartbeat. People with AF are 5 TIMES more likely to suffer a stroke. However *Early identification of AF and the introduction of suitable medication reduces the risk of stroke by up to two-thirds ( SOURCE: NHS ENGLAND).
Despite the serious impact of AF, many people are unaware that they have the condition. If following your test AF is identified your Podiatrist is able to email a copy of the ECG directly to you. So that you can discuss with your GP if suitable medication is required to manage your condition.
So how is the test carried out?
There are two small metal pads of roughly one square inch.
The patient places the index and middle finger of the left hand on the left pad and the index and middle finger of the right hand on the right pad.
The heart signal is then analysed for 30 seconds and the results are then uploaded to the ipad and displayed on the screen as an Electrocardiogram otherwise known as an ECG or EKG.
The results can then be emailed to you. If the test produces an abnormal result and a diagnosis of possible AF is detected you can take these results to your GP for further investigation.
The device has a built in algorithm for detecting atrial fibrillation. The results can assist in early identification of atrial fibrillation.
The link below will take you to a BBC Spotlight video of just over 2 minutes in length, which summarises the benefits and potential of incorporating the test into a podiatry treatment or initial assessment.
Anyone who is unfamiliar with the field of Podiatry may be surprised to know that as medically trained professionals we are able to identify many conditions that may be affecting your overall health via tests carried out within a podiatry clinic. The results of such tests ,when analysed can allow for a patient to be referred on to a GP with vital information that may allow the patient to progress for further investigations.
It is recognised that Podiatrists play an important role in being "first identifiers" of underlying medical conditions. The feet are an excellent early warning system for other elements of the body . The interconnected elements help podiatrists in diagnosing scores of foot and lower limb related conditions.
Conditions such as corns and callus are very common and easy to treat and maintain. Other foot complaints can be slightly more complex to identify and treat. A podiatrist can diagnose many foot health problems and develop a treatment plan to manage the condition.
Below the surface the complexities of the foot structure are quite remarkable . The foot consists of 26 bones, 33 joints and over 126 muscles and ligaments. Numerous arteries and nerves start/end within the foot. Every element of the foot is vital and all of them interconnected to other parts of the body.