Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects more than 6 million people in the United States; however, much AF remains undiagnosed. Given that more than 265 million people in the United States own smartphones (>80% of the population), smartphone applications have been proposed for detecting AF, but the accuracy of these applications remains unclear.To determine the accuracy of smartphone camera applications that diagnose AF.MEDLINE and Embase were searched until January 2019 for studies that assessed the accuracy of any smartphone applications that use the smartphone's camera to measure the amplitude and frequency of the user's fingertip pulse to diagnose AF.Bivariate random-effects meta-analyses were constructed to synthesize data. The study followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) of Diagnostic Test Accuracy Studies reporting guideline.Sensitivity and specificity were measured with bivariate random-effects meta-analysis. To simulate the use of these applications as a screening tool, the positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) for different population groups (ie, age =65 years and age =65 years with hypertension) were modeled. Lastly, the association of methodological limitations with outcomes were analyzed with sensitivity analyses and metaregressions.A total of 10 primary diagnostic accuracy studies, with 3852 participants and 4 applications, were included. The oldest studies were published in 2016 (2 studies [20.0%]), while most studies (4 [40.0%]) were published in 2018. The applications analyzed the pulsewave signal for a mean (range) of 2 (1-5) minutes. The meta-analyzed sensitivity and specificity for all applications combined were 94.2% (95% CI, 92.2%-95.7%) and 95.8% (95% CI, 92.4%-97.7%), respectively. The PPV for smartphone camera applications detecting AF in an asymptomatic population aged 65 years and older was between 19.3% (95% CI, 19.2%-19.4%) and 37.5% (95% CI, 37.4%-37.6%), and the NPV was between 99.8% (95% CI, 99.83%-99.84%) and 99.9% (95% CI, 99.94%-99.95%). The PPV and NPV increased for individuals aged 65 years and older with hypertension (PPV, 20.5% [95% CI, 20.4%-20.6%] to 39.2% [95% CI, 39.1%-39.3%]; NPV, 99.8% [95% CI, 99.8%-99.8%] to 99.9% [95% CI, 99.9%-99.9%]). There were methodological limitations in a number of studies that did not appear to be associated with diagnostic performance, but this could not be definitively excluded given the sparsity of the data.In this study, all smartphone camera applications had relatively high sensitivity and specificity. The modeled NPV was high for all analyses, but the PPV was modest, suggesting that using these applications in an asymptomatic population may generate a higher number of false-positive than true-positive results. Future research should address the accuracy of these applications when screening other high-risk population groups, their ability to help monitor chronic AF, and, ultimately, their associations with patient-important outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.2064
View details for PubMedID 32242908