Medical diagnostic procedures, and treatments are not static, but a constantly evolving field. At Leichhardt General Practice, we feel that ongoing medical research is crucial for us to ensure we are giving our patients the most accurate and up to date advice and management. We are usually involved in multiple areas of research at any one time. Some of the research areas we are currently involved in are explored below.
We are working with Professor Ben Freedman, Professor of Cardiology and the ANZAC Research Institute at Concord Hospital to pilot a study which aims to detect asymptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients in the community over the age of 65 years.
AF is an abnormal rhythm of the heart, which left untreated can significantly increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and other life threatening illnesses.
In order to detect this rhythm, which often causes no symptoms, we ask patients to hold a hand held iPhone like device for 30 seconds. This device communicates with the phone via ultrasound waves which are then transformed into an ECG signal. The patient is given an immediate result so can be managed straight away. The diagnosis is 98% sensitive and 92% specific.
Our hope is that by using this fast, effective screening tool, we can accurately diagnose AF in our patients and reduce the risk of them developing secondary complications.
For more information regarding this exciting research, please listen to Professor Ben Freedman discussing the study on The Health Report.
Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and are at high risk of breaking. Statistically, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men over the age of 70 years will develop osteoporosis. For this reason, in Australia, all people over the age of 70 years are entitled to a free bone density scan.
Every few years, our team at Leichhardt General Practice review the latest research regarding osteoporosis to ensure we are offering the most accurate and evidence based advice to our patients.
As part of this, we arrange a mobile bone density machine to be brought to the practice annually to screen our patients for reduced bone mass. This is called the Measure Up Van. Our reasoning being that early detection and management results in much better longer term outcomes.
We proudly support the research done by the George Institute. They are currently using our rooms to identify patients of ours who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease by targeting their primary risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking. They are then assisting them with lifestyle modifications, and preventative changes to reduce the risk of them going on to develop heart disease and stroke.
Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the world. Our aim in supporting the George Institute is the development of new strategies for the prevention of cardiovascular disease resulting in death and morbidity.
last updated: 2016