FDA approves AI stethoscope technology capable of identifying heart failure

In a 2020 study by the American Medical Association, it was reported that more than 11 million people worldwide are living with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction. In the United States alone, over 6 million individuals are affected by this condition. To help detect heart failure in just seconds, a new artificial intelligence technology developed by Mayo Clinic and Eko Health has been recently FDA-cleared.

The traditional stethoscope, which has been used since 1816, has received an AI makeover. Doctors rely on the stethoscope to listen to a patient’s heart and lungs to make diagnostic assessments. However, sometimes further tests such as CT or MRI scans are required for a definitive diagnosis. Additionally, an electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to measure the heart’s electrical activity.

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. The AI program developed by Mayo Clinic and Eko Health was trained on 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.

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. The AI-enhanced stethoscope is now available for $429 with a monthly subscription and is a breakthrough technology that can help identify heart issues that might otherwise go undetected.

By Riley Johnson

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