HRI’s Jessica Orchard was awarded best 8-minute PhD presentation at the recent Australian Society for Medical Research NSW conference. Dr Orchard was awarded her PhD in cardiac screening earlier this month.
Dr Orchard presented her research, titled “Atrial Fibrillation Screen, Management And guideline Recommended Therapy (AF-SMART II) in the rural primary care setting: a cross-sectional study and cost-effective analysis of eHealth tools to support all stages of screening”, at the conference.
Dr Orchard’s impactful presentation explains that atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of arrhythmia and is predicted to double by 2050. AF is asymptomatic in up to 80 per cent of patients so can remain undetected; worryingly, it is responsible for one third of strokes. However, if AF is detected early and treated according to guidelines, the stroke risk is reduced by 64 per cent. Dr Orchard’s presentation goes on to provide recommendations to implement best-practice screening programs using novel eHealth tools to improve detection and treatment rates. It also presents data to show the screening program would be cost-effective if rolled out nationally.