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Dr Jessica Orchard from HRI’s Heart Rhythm and Stroke Prevention group was awarded the Prevention Prize at the Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand (CSANZ) conference for her talk on the AF-SMART II rural screening study.

Titled “Atrial Fibrillation Screen, Management And Guideline Recommended Therapy (AF SMART II) in the rural primary care setting: cost-effective eHealth tools to support all stages of screening,” the talk also included an analysis of cost-effectiveness.

“I was thrilled to receive the 2020 CSANZ Prevention Prize for this research, which was a key part of my PhD. I’m grateful to the senior author Dr Nicole Lowres (HRI) and my PhD supervisors Professor Ben Freedman (HRI) and Professor Lis Neubeck (Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Sydney),” Dr Orchard says.

“Our multidisciplinary team of investigators with expertise in screening, public health, cardiology, nursing, general practice and health economics, were able to bring a variety of important perspectives to the study and analyses, which was very beneficial for this research.”

Presenting to a hybrid of both virtual and live attendees, Dr Orchard explained the study diagnosed new cases of atrial fibrillation in 1.2 per cent of those screened.

Ear­ly diag­no­sis means we can pro­vide appro­pri­ate med­ical advice and man­age­ment to reduce the risk of stroke lat­er on, so this study has been key to research meth­ods to improve AF screen­ing, espe­cial­ly in rur­al areas.”

Dr Orchard was nominated for a Peter Bancroft Prize for her PhD last month as her PhD was awarded without emendation.

Key messages from the study

Header image L-R: Professor Clara Chow (President of CSANZ) with Dr Jessica Orchard

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