FDA approves AI stethoscope technology capable of identifying heart failure

In recent years, heart failure has become a significant public health concern, with more than 6 million Americans living with the condition. According to a 2020 study by the American Medical Association, the global number of people with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction is over 11 million. While traditional diagnostic tools such as stethoscopes and electrocardiograms (ECGs) are commonly used to detect heart failure, they can sometimes require further tests such as CT or MRI scans for a definitive diagnosis.

However, a new artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed by Mayo Clinic and Eko Health has been recently FDA-cleared to help detect heart failure in just seconds. The AI-enhanced stethoscope uses machine learning algorithms to analyze recordings from over 100,000 patients to interpret heart activity, allowing it to quickly assess a person’s heart strength and detect early signs of heart failure with low ejection fraction in just seconds.

Connor Landgraf, CEO of Eko Health, has a personal and professional interest in using AI to enhance medical care. His family’s history of pulmonary disease motivated him to explore better technologies for identifying early signs of illness. He believes that this technology can significantly improve patient outcomes by enabling doctors to diagnose heart issues earlier and intervene before complications arise.

Dr. Paul Friedman, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, emphasizes the importance of early detection for heart failure, which can lead to serious complications if left untreated. He notes that this new technology provides an additional tool for doctors to use in their diagnostic arsenal and could be particularly useful in rural areas where access to specialized equipment is limited.

The AI-enhanced stethoscope is now available for $429 with a monthly subscription through Eko Health’s website. It represents a breakthrough technology that could help identify heart issues that might otherwise go undetected and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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