A TEESSIDE grandmother was diagnosed and treated for a heart condition despite showing little symptoms after new medical technology was rolled out across the North-East.

Mary Walsh, from Stockton, visited her GP after she felt unwell for a number of months.

The 72-year-old grandmother said she was short of breath, tired and suffering from regular dizzy spells.

“I couldn’t put my finger on why I felt unwell so I booked an appointment at my GP surgery," she said.

"The nurse and GP checked my pulse, which was over 50, and the doctor recommended I go for an ECG and we also discussed blood thinning medication.

“The GP then produced this small device which was linked to his phone. I had to put my fingers on a small sensor pad and it then produced a reading on the doctor’s phone – I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

The device, named AliveCor, is a handheld device comprising of two small pads which, when pressed by the patient, takes a 30 second reading and can detect people with an irregular pulse that indicates underlying heart conditions.

The device showed that Mrs Walsh had an abnormal pulse, which was later confirmed by the ECG as atrial fibrillation (AF).

She said: “Before I went to the doctor, I had been feeling unwell for some time and it was having a significant impact on my life.

"I struggled to remain as active as I used to be, which was especially upsetting when it came to playing with my grandchild.

"The device helped to give me my life back as it gave the results in seconds."

Since the start of 2018 through to March 2019, a total of 20,735 people in the region have had an opportunistic pulse check using the technology and has resulted in 1,175 people being identified with possible AF, potentially preventing around 59 strokes.

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) has led the roll out of 374 devices across the region and trained over 800 healthcare professionals.

Mrs Walsh' GP at Riverside Medical practice in Stockton, Dr Yusuf Soni, said: “We have been using AliveCor for screening patients who attend an appointment for their chronic disease review.

"So far we have diagnosed 13 new patients who were previously without any symptoms."