Stanford researchers develop AI algorithm to diagnose heart arrhythmias

Stanford (Calf.) University researchers created an artificial intelligence algorithm capable of diagnosing 14 types of heart rhythm defects.

The research team — led by graduate students Awni Hannun and Pranav Rajpurkar — collaborated with the heartbeat monitor company iRhythm to train the deep-learning algorithm on data from its wearable electrocardiogram device. After seven months, the algorithm was able to diagnose 14 types of heart arrhythmias from ECG signals.

To test the algorithm's accuracy, the researchers asked six different cardiologists to diagnose 300 short ECG clips for arrhythmias. They compared these results with the diagnosis from the algorithm, to determine which more closely matched expert consensus. The researchers found the algorithm was able to outperform cardiologists on most arrhythmias.

The researchers hope the algorithm may help to monitor at-risk patients or to diagnose patients in remote areas.

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