European Union of Private Hospitals

EPHA Awards 2023 – Best patient focused initiative

1st prize, Hospital Recoletas Zamora (Spain) for Pulso Vital, the free STROKE prevention programme

A STROKE occurs every six minutes in Spain. Patients with this condition are usually over 55 years of age. Pulso Vital is a free STROKE prevention programme. It is being implemented in Zamora, one of the most depopulated and ageing regions in Europe, as the type of rural and older population is the target audience for this campaign. As it is a depopulated province, population centres are far away from each other and not all have a medical centre or pharmacy, making it difficult to monitor heart health regularly. The only other entity in the area is SACYL, the public health service, which has not launched any kind of dynamic and interactive STROKE prevention campaign. It also does not have the cardiac measuring devices that allow a professional electrocardiogram to be obtained in 30 seconds. But it has collaborated with the Regional Government of Zamora which had an initiative in place to attract talent and work to rural areas, and this public-private partnership would allow the development of the province and care of the elderly.

Main objectives

The main objective of Pulso Vital is to raise awareness and prevent stroke. Pulso Vital is being implemented to give visibility to this disease and try to prevent it by early detection of atrial fibrillation, as well as to prevent depopulation in one of the most depopulated and aging rural areas in Europe. Permanent Pulso Vital totems have been installed in 61 locations throughout Zamora, where anyone can find out if they have atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, tachycardia or a normal heart rhythm. If an abnormality or symptom of cardiovascular risk is found, the patient can immediately contact the Cardiology Department of Recoletas Zamora. This prevention objective is accompanied by the contribution to improving the quality of life of Zamora’s people, promoting health and healthy habits, creating jobs for people over 50 in rural areas, setting an example of private-public collaboration and making Zamora a potential generator of innovative social projects.
Thanks to the Pulso Vital on-street totems, anyone, even if asymptomatic, can measure their cardiovascular vital signs and know if they have atrial fibrillation.


A total of 13,605 measurements have been performed on the devices since their start-up, and it can be said that more than 218 lives have been saved thanks to the totems and medical professionals who have treated patients who have presented abnormalities or cardiovascular risk in their measurement.

The free rural health project has reached 80% of the rural population of Zamora, making the area a cardioprotected area. Pulso Vital devices are a tool available to the people of Zamora to help them live longer and better.

In addition to the video call in the event that the measurement shows any cardiovascular risk, a free appointment is offered at the Cardiology Department of the Recoletas Hospital in Zamora or the Recoletas Medical Centre in Benavente.

Measurement is performed using a KardiaMobile device that is embedded in an iPad Pro and embellished with a totem. So it has the ease of a mobile application, developed specifically for this project, and the stability of a reliable structure.

The Pulso Vital Campaign included a route through the villages of Zamora province. A vinyl-wrapped vehicle travelled to over 60 locations with different devices for the population to do a heart health check and to raise awareness of the Pulso Vital programme.

The most important results of this project are the lives saved.