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Targeted Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Detection

The information on this page about the Quality Improvement Grant offered by the BMS-Pfizer Alliance is intended for healthcare audiences only. Information on Quality Improvement grant applications is not intended for members of the public and the offer is only available to healthcare institutions, organisations and associations, or equivalent.

Pfizer, on behalf of the BMS-Pfizer Alliance, is now inviting applications from UK healthcare organisations, for a Competitive Quality Improvement Grant, to support projects which have a targeted approach to the detection of AF in patients at high risk of AF and stroke.


Atrial fibrillation is a major cause of preventable stroke and the prevalence is projected to rise substantially over the next few decades with our ageing population.1 Despite the availability of effective oral anticoagulation therapy, atrial fibrillation continues to be responsible for substantial mortality and morbidity.2 During this challenging time, there may have been decreased opportunities for the detection of AF, due to fewer patients visiting surgeries than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is our intent to provide funding for projects that focus on a targeted approach to the detection of AF, for patients in primary care who are at high risk of AF and stroke. We intend to provide funding so that organisations can utilise a method of their choice to facilitate AF detection in high-risk patients. Additional funding is also available to support the implementation of an appropriate management pathway.


We are particularly interested in receiving proposals that:

  • Define a high-risk population for AF detection e.g., patients with diabetes, heart failure, hypertension or previous stroke/transient ischaemic attack
  • Include dedicated staff time for project management
  • Include a clear description of the proposed AF detection method. The project may involve the use of a CE* medically validated remote detection device and/or smartphone technology with automated alerts and real time linking to a healthcare professional dashboard if an arrythmia is detected
  • Confirm access to a database of the high-risk population, including unique patient identifier
  • Include a clear protocol for confirmatory diagnosis of AF
  • Clearly define a management pathway for all positively diagnosed patients
  • Plan to produce a final report showing the successful implementation of the pathway and highlight patient outcomes


Proposals for projects covering the following areas are out of scope:

  • Projects bearing the name or class of specific medicines
  • Projects designed to increase the uptake of a single therapeutic agent or intervention (projects should be aimed at improving adherence to specific guidelines or patient pathways)
  • Applications for funding of services which should be provided as standard within the NHS
  • Interventional or observational studies
  • In vitro or in vivo (animal) studies
  • Non-interventional studies, such as epidemiological studies
  • Outcomes research studies where the primary focus is to understand the results of particular healthcare practices and interventions as well as to monitor and improve the quality of care
  • Other types of independent research on disease states, including novel diagnostic screening tools and surveys


Pfizer, on behalf of the BMS-Pfizer Alliance, processes these applications through the Pfizer Global Medical Grants System. This enables the review and consideration of an individual grant request submission from a healthcare organisation, which is intended to support an independent medical and/or scientific initiative of that healthcare organisation. The chosen initiative should be intended for quality improvement and to improve patient outcomes, in an area of unmet medical need that is aligned with Pfizer’s medical and/or scientific strategies.

For all independent grants, the grant requester and the healthcare organisation grantee are responsible for the design, implementation, sponsorship, and conduct of the independent initiative supported by the grant, including compliance with any regulatory requirements. The BMS-Pfizer Alliance, must not be involved in any aspect of the project development, nor the conduct or monitoring of the initiative. At the end of the project, all successful Grant Recipients will be expected to provide the BMS-Pfizer Alliance with a short, high level information summary report on the effectiveness of the project, such as outcomes for patients and the NHS.

The BMS-Pfizer Alliance invites grant proposals from healthcare organisations that are legal entities in their own right, not individuals or single general practices. For example, the following may apply: Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health Boards or equivalent.

Projects requesting up to £30k will be considered. For most projects, the bulk of the funding request should be for the deployment of a suitable AF detection method and the remainder of the total budget may be allocated to management and successful delivery of the project. The total available budget related to this project is £300k.

This is a Competitive Grant Programme which uses an external expert panel to make final grant decisions, based on the panel’s evaluation of the proposal and the costs involved set out in the Targeted Atrial Fibrillation Detection ‘Call for Proposals’.


Quality Improvement Grants are intended to either enhance patient care or benefit the NHS and maintain patient care. They cannot be linked to the prescribing or use of a specific medicine. As a result, the BMS-Pfizer Alliance’s involvement is strictly limited to the provision of the Quality Improvement grant and we do not receive any direct benefit in return. Quality Improvement grants do not constitute an inducement to prescribe, supply, administer, recommend, buy or sell any medicine.


To contact Pfizer for any other purpose, including adverse event reporting, medical information requests, or data protection enquiries please call 01304 616161


* A CE mark is a logo that is placed on medical devices to show they conform to the requirements in the directives. It shows that the device is fit for its intended purpose stated and meets legislation relating to safety.3



  1. Krijthe BP, Kunst A, Benjamin EJ, et al. Projections on the number of individuals with atrial fibrillation in the European Union, from 2000 to 2060. Eur Heart J.2013;34(35):2746-2751.
  2. James SL, Abate D, Abate KH, et al. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet. 2018;392(10159):1789-1858.
  3. Last accessed Jan 2021.
PP-INT-GBR-0188 / Jan 2021