FDA Approves AI Stethoscope Technology Capable of Detecting Heart Failure

Heart failure is a serious condition that affects more than 6 million Americans, according to the CDC. Worldwide, over 11 million people have heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, a condition characterized by a weak heart pump. Recently, a new FDA-cleared artificial intelligence technology developed by the Mayo Clinic and Eko Health has been introduced to swiftly detect signs of heart failure in just seconds.

The stethoscope, an instrument that has been in use since 1816, has undergone an AI transformation. Doctors utilize the stethoscope to listen to the sounds of the heart and lungs, aiding in diagnosing various conditions. However, additional tests such as CT or MRI scans are often required for a definitive diagnosis. Electrocardiograms (ECGs), which measure the heart’s electrical activity, are commonly used by physicians for further evaluation.

Lindsey Theis of Scripps News spoke with Connor Landgraf, CEO of Eko Health, who underscored the importance of utilizing technology like AI to enhance patient care, especially in the early detection of illnesses. Through a collaborative effort between Mayo Clinic and Eko Health, the AI program was trained using over 100,000 patient recordings to interpret heart activity accurately. The technology is able to quickly assess an individual’s heart strength within fraction of time, detecting early signs of heart failure with low ejection fraction that are often challenging to identify.

Dr. Paul Friedman, a cardiac electrophysiologist and cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, stressed the significance of early detection for this potentially life-threatening condition. The cost of the AI-enhanced stethoscope is $429 along with a monthly subscription fee. The advancement of AI technology continues to revolutionize various aspects of healthcare

By Sophia Gonzalez

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