Awareness and early detection key to managing atrial fibrillation

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Updated 19 November 2020

Awareness and early detection key to managing atrial fibrillation

  • Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib or AF, can affect adults of any age

Nov. 16 to 22 is Global Atrial Fibrillation Aware Week (GAFAW), an annual awareness week that brings attention to the most common arrhythmia (heart rhythm disorder). 

Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib or AF, can affect adults of any age.  The currently estimated global prevalence of AFib in adults is between 2 percent and 4 percent, according to the World Stroke Organization. AFib can induce the formation of blood clots and is therefore associated with a high number of complications. Among these, an embolic stroke, a type of stroke that occurs when a blood clot formed elsewhere in the body breaks loose and travels to the brain via the bloodstream, is undoubtedly the main one. 

According to the World Stroke Organization, the risk of stroke increases by almost five-fold in patients suffering from AFib. More than 25 percent of people who experience an AFib-related stroke may not learn of their diagnosis and condition until after suffering the stroke. 

During Global AFib Aware Week, we look at some of the efforts to raise awareness around this condition and improve the gaps in AFib detection across Africa and the Middle East (AfME): 

• Greater awareness – Raising public awareness of AFib across the region and its link to stroke and convening the advocacy community is critical for tackling this health issue. Pfizer continues to work with leading organizations such as Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) among several others to identify the necessary gaps in detection and diagnosis. Pfizer’s awareness programs such as “Matter of Moments” help spread greater awareness for high-risk patients worldwide.

• Technology and health care – The role of technology in facilitating support and care for patients has been evident during the global COVID-19 pandemic. When patients fear going to the doctors for a routine check-up due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, technology solutions such as apps that focus on telehealth prove extremely useful. Many of today’s wearable devices can detect sleep patterns, track different physical activity types, and even monitor your heart rhythm. The next frontier in health-focused consumer technology is providing guidance, along with alerts and data, to interpret information from wearables to help improve the dialogue between patients and doctors during routine clinical care. This is especially meaningful with AFib because its characteristics can make it challenging to detect. As consumer technology and health care continue to converge, potential early AFib detection opportunities are on the rise.

In conclusion, early detection of AFib is crucial to ensure timely management that helps control symptoms and avoid complications for patients later. The appropriate management of AFib, made possible by timely detection and diagnosis, hinges on using all available tools, including evolving technology, research with the potential to change clinical practice, and awareness-raising initiatives to help facilitate productive conversations between patients and their doctors during routine check-ups. 

SABIC launches anti-fog film for COVID visors

Updated 28 November 2020

SABIC launches anti-fog film for COVID visors

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has announced the successful commercialization of an anti-fog film it designed especially for COVID-19 protection equipment, such as safety face shields and goggles, used in frontline work environments.

Lexan HP92AF features a one-sided coating that extends the time-to-fog even at very high ambient humidity, ensuring long-lasting optical clarity. The product has confirmed its superior anti-fog performance in extensive testing under the harshest conditions. It does not exhibit any hazing at saturation as could be observed with competitive materials. Moreover, the anti-fog coating technology has no compromising effect on the abrasion resistance and impact strength of the polycarbonate film.

“We have identified a gap in the market when it comes to the effective protection of frontline workers against the COVID-19 pathogen. In work environments subjected to sudden temperature changes and high humidity, visors and safety goggles often fail to provide adequate long-term anti-fog performance. This forces workers to either not wear such visors and safety goggles at all or to take these off for frequent wiping,” said Ahmet Kizilirmakli, senior business manager Americas, SABIC.

“Our new Lexan HP92AF anti-fog film offers the solution many companies have been looking for. Excellent optical quality and high-impact strength of polycarbonate combined with our advanced anti-fog technology make the product the ultimate choice for face shields and other clear view personal protection equipment with long-lasting optical clarity in these environments,” he added.

Besides visors, face masks and safety goggles, other targeted applications include motorcycle visors, ski goggles, automotive cluster lenses, medical instrument lenses and displays as well as industrial lenses.

SABIC’s new anti-fog film product shows excellent die cutting and printability. The anti-fog film is thermoformable and withstands repeated cleaning with lukewarm water, mild soap solutions, or common glass cleaners.

With a width of 48 inches, Lexan HP92AF is globally available in a wide range of gauges from 7 to 30 mil (178 to 752 µm).

“The rapid commercialization of Lexan HP92AF anti-fog film underscores our commitment to helping our customers enhance the protection of frontline workers against COVID-19,” said Mark Troszak, film segment leader at SABIC.

“In high-humidity environments, the time-to-fog makes a difference. This product can ensure optimum optical clarity over extended periods, allowing the users of face shields and other transparent safety equipment to concentrate on their jobs safely without being impaired by fogging,” he added.

Troszak said that SABIC has the capability to satisfy customer-specific requirements by adapting this technology to other existing Lexan-coated film solutions.