Mayo Clinic, AliveCor develop mobile EKG device to monitor patients at risk of sudden cardiac death

Researchers from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic and AliveCor, a cardiology-focused medical device company, developed an artificial intelligence-powered EKG device to identify patients at risk of sudden cardiac death, according to a Feb. 1 news release.

The smartphone-enabled mobile device rapidly determines the heart's rate-corrected QT interval, or QTc — a measurement used to evaluate the health of the heart's electrical recharging system. Patients with a prolonged QTc can experience rapid heartbeats, and in some cases, sudden cardiac death. 

Researchers assessed AliveCor's KardiaMobile 6L EKG device by comparing it to a 12-lead EKG, which is typically used to evaluate QTc. Mayo Clinic cardiology researchers used more than 1.6 million 12-lead EKGs to train and validate the mobile device on how to effectively measure the QTc and detect prolongation. The findings, published in Circulation, showed the mobile device had an 80 percent sensitivity, meaning fewer cases of QTc prolongation were missed, and 94.4 percent specificity, indicating the device was highly accurate in predicting who did not have a prolonged QTc. 

"Akin to a glucose meter for diabetics, for example, this QT meter will provide an early warning system, enabling patients with congenital or acquired long QT syndrome to be identified and potentially lifesaving adjustments to their medications and electrolytes to be made," said Michael Ackerman, MD, PhD, study author and Mayo Clinic cardiologist. 

To read the news release, click here. 

To view the study findings, click here. 

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