Northwestern Medicine to apply AI screening for heart disease in new study

Chicago-based Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is piloting a clinical study to determine whether artificial intelligence can screen for heart disease.

Using cardiovascular digital health platform Eko, the institute will test whether its digital stethoscopes and AI algorithms can analyze heart noises to help screen for valvular heart disease and pathologic heart murmurs. Eko's technology incorporates machine learning with data from thousands of heart sound patterns to help physicians more accurately diagnose cardiovascular conditions when using a stethoscope.

"One of the biggest problems in healthcare is that general practitioners so often miss heart murmurs that if found earlier would allow patients to get treatment before problems arise," Eko CEO Connor Landgraf said in a news release. "The results of this study will work to bridge the gap for general practitioners and early detection of these life-threatening conditions."

Eko is funding the clinical study and will enroll 1,000 patients. The trial is part of institute's center for artificial intelligence, which applies AI and machine-learning technologies to cardiovascular disease research, diagnosis and treatment.

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