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FDA approves AI stethoscope technology capable of identifying heart failure

More than 6 million Americans are living with heart failure, while the global number of people with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction is over 11 million, as reported in a 2020 study by the American Medical Association. Heart failure can be difficult to diagnose, requiring further tests such as CT or MRI scans and an electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure the heart’s electrical activity.

However, a new artificial intelligence technology developed by Mayo Clinic and Eko Health has been recently FDA-cleared to help detect heart failure in just seconds. The AI program was trained on recordings from over 100,000 patients to interpret heart activity, allowing it to quickly assess a person’s heart strength and detect early signs of heart failure with low ejection fraction in just seconds.

The traditional stethoscope, which has been in use since 1816, has received an AI makeover. Doctors rely on the stethoscope to listen to a patient’s heart and lungs to make diagnostic assessments. However, sometimes further tests such as CT or MRI scans are required for a definitive diagnosis. Additionally, an electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to measure the heart’s electrical activity.

Connor Landgraf, CEO of Eko Health, has a personal and professional interest in using AI to enhance medical care. He explains that his family’s history of pulmonary disease motivated him to explore better technologies for identifying early signs of illness. The AI-enhanced stethoscope is now available for $429 with a monthly subscription and offers doctors an easy way to quickly identify potential issues before they become serious complications.

Dr. Paul Friedman, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, emphasizes the importance of early detection for heart failure, which can lead to serious complications if left untreated. The AI-enhanced stethoscope is a breakthrough technology that can help identify issues that might otherwise go undetected and improve patient outcomes overall.

By Samantha Jones

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