Northwestern introduces AI tool to help medical assistants conduct sonograms

Northwestern Medicine in Chicago has enrolled its first patient in a clinical trial investigating how well a set of artificial intelligence tools can help detect heart disease in the primary care setting.

The study, launched in partnership with medical technology vendor Bay Labs, will assess whether one of the company's investigational AI tools can help certified medical assistants perform high-quality echocardiograms, or sonograms of the heart, even if they don't have previous scanning experience.

The tool, EchoGPS, is a cardiac ultrasound guidance software that walks certified medical assistants through how to capture echocardiograms in real-time. It pairs with another tool, EchoMD, which uses AI to help cardiologists interpret these images to detect heart disease among patients 65 years and older.

In total, the study will enroll an estimated 1,200 patients at Northwestern Medicine's primary care sites. Researchers in the study will evaluate whether the tools enable detection of more patients with heart disease in the primary care setting, compared to standard physical exams with electrocardiograms.

The study is part of Bay Labs' ongoing partnership with Northwestern Medicine, exploring various ways to apply AI to cardiovascular care. It also falls under the umbrella of Northwestern Medicine's larger cardiovascular AI initiative, which the health system revealed plans for in June.

More articles on artificial intelligence:
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AI outperforms cardiologists in detecting heart murmurs, study suggests

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