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A cost-effectiveness analysis model of Preventicus atrial fibrillation screening from the point of view of statutory health insurance in Germany


  • Ralf Birkemeyer

    (Ulm Herzklinik)

  • Alfred Müller

    (Analytic Services GmbH)

  • Steffen Wahler

    (St. Bernward GmbH)

  • Johann-Matthias Schulenburg

    (Universität Hannover)


Background With atrial fibrillation (AF) the risk of stroke is 4.2-fold increased to a comparable population without AF. This risk decreases by up to 70% if AF is detected early enough and effective stroke preventive measures are taken as recommended by international guidelines. Long-term studies found large number of subjects with undiagnosed AF. Preventicus Heartbeats” is a hands-on screening tool for use on smartphone to diagnose AF with high sensitivity and specificity. The aim of this study is to research the cost-effectiveness of systematic screening for AF with this smartphone application. Method Employing a Markov model we analysed the cost-effectiveness of the “Preventicus Heartbeats” screening for Germany, i.e. from the perspective of German statutory sick funds. Results For a cohort of 10,000 insured 75-year-old the use of the diagnostic app could avoid 60 strokes in the remaining lifetime thereof 32 strokes in the next four years. Former models have applied similar cohorts. The same cohort showed an increase in quality-adjusted life years (QALY) in the remaining lifetime of 165 QALYs in the scenario with screening versus. without screening and a decrease in discounted lifetime costs (including risk compensation effects) of €129 per participant (€148 for male, €114 for female participants). Conclusions The modelling demonstrates the health benefits and economic effects of an implementation of a systematic screening on AF with “Preventicus Heartbeats”, given the perspective of the German payer, the statutory health care system.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralf Birkemeyer & Alfred Müller & Steffen Wahler & Johann-Matthias Schulenburg, 2020. "A cost-effectiveness analysis model of Preventicus atrial fibrillation screening from the point of view of statutory health insurance in Germany," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-18, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:hecrev:v:10:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1186_s13561-020-00274-z
    DOI: 10.1186/s13561-020-00274-z

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    Blog mentions

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    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 6th July 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-07-06 11:00:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Helena Biancuzzi & Francesca Dal Mas & Chiara Bidoli & Veronica Pegoraro & Maristella Zantedeschi & Pietro Antonio Negro & Stefano Campostrini & Lorenzo Cobianchi, 2023. "Economic and Performance Evaluation of E-Health before and after the Pandemic Era: A Literature Review and Future Perspectives," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 20(5), pages 1-18, February.


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