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FDA approves AI technology in stethoscope for heart failure detection


Apr 4, 2024

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 6 million Americans are living with heart failure. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that more than 11 million people worldwide have heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, indicating a weak heart pump. Recently, a new artificial intelligence tool developed by the Mayo Clinic and Eko Health has been approved by the FDA to quickly detect heart failure.

The traditional stethoscope, which has been in use since 1816, has been enhanced with artificial intelligence to provide faster and more accurate diagnosis. Physicians use the stethoscope to listen to patients’ heart and lung sounds and interpret the findings. However, additional tests such as CT scans or MRIs are often necessary for a definitive diagnosis. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) are also used to measure the heart’s electrical activity.

Connor Landgraf, a biomechanical engineer and CEO of Eko Health, is passionate about using technology to improve patient care, citing personal experiences with pulmonary disease. Landgraf and his team at Mayo Clinic trained the AI program by analyzing over 100,000 patients’ heart recordings. The AI technology can now assess a person’s heart strength in a matter of seconds, identifying early signs of heart failure with low ejection fraction that may otherwise go undetected.

Dr. Paul Friedman, a cardiac electrophysiologist and cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, emphasizes the importance of early detection of heart failure, as it can lead to serious complications and even death if left untreated. The AI-enhanced stethoscope, which costs $429 with a monthly subscription, offers a convenient and affordable way to monitor heart health and detect potential issues early on.

By editor

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