People in West Dunbartonshire suffering life-threatening palpitations and near blackouts could be saved - by their smartphones.

That’s the message from new research which shows that an EGC recorder that attaches to your mobile device is five times more effective at diagnosing heart conditions than traditional methods have been in the past.

The development has been hailed as being able to save thousands of lives across the UK as people often go for months, and even sometimes years, without a proper diagnosis that they have an issue with their heart.

The study was funded by Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and the British Heart Foundation and is the first ever randomised controlled trial investigating the use of a smartphone-based ECG recorder.

Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, welcomed the move, saying the app could potentially save thousands of lives.

She said: “It’s fantastic to see the life-changing benefits that the research our generous supporters have funded has on people’s lives.

“With over 300,000 people in the UK presenting to the emergency department with palpitations and near blackout every year, this device could save thousands of lives.

“Living with a heart condition can have a huge impact on people’s daily lives.

“People can become anxious about leaving the house and often fear being on their own in case they fall ill.

“This device, which is so easy to use, could give people the security that their symptoms are being recorded and lead to that much needed diagnosis.

“It is vital that it is rolled out across Scotland.

“It would mean that people don’t have to live their lives in fear, or have to wait years for the diagnosis which could transform and improve their lives.”