During the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018, Eko, a cardiac monitoring company that combines non-invasive sensors with machine learning presented a clinical study abstract revealing their murmur detection algorithm outperformed the majority of participating cardiologists. The study entitled, “Artificial Intelligence Detects Pediatric Heart Murmurs With Cardiologist-Level Accuracy,” demonstrates the power of machine learning and AI to enhance cardiac care.
80% of Common Cardiac Events are Misdiagnosed
On average, internal medicine and family practice physician residents misdiagnose 80 percent of common cardiac events, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cardiologists, on the other hand, can effectively diagnose 90 percent of cardiac events using a stethoscope.
AI Algorithm for Heart Murmur Detection
The neural network AI algorithm was trained on thousands of heart sound recordings. The algorithm was then tested on an independent dataset of pediatric heart sounds and compared to gold-standard echocardiogram imagery. Five pediatric cardiologists also listened to the heart sound recordings and independently made a determination whether a recording contained a murmur. This advancement will help narrow the clinical skill gap between the 27,000 cardiologists in the U.S. – the experts at murmur detection – and the 3.8 million other clinicians who are less experienced in the identification of heart murmurs through a stethoscope.
“When it comes to healthcare, data almost always leads to better results because practitioners are able to make more informed decisions,” said Dr. Nicholas Slamon, Pediatric Critical Care Physician at Nemours Children’s Health System. “Eko’s technology is leveraging the largest available dataset of previously captured heart sounds to elevate the skills of clinicians and in turn provide guidance on how to diagnose, and subsequently treat serious, often fatal cardiac conditions. It’s a powerful advancement for the world of medicine.”
FDA Clearance for the Algorithm
Eko’s murmur screening algorithm, when coupled with the company’s FDA-cleared Eko Core and Eko DUO devices, will enable any and all clinicians to more accurately screen for heart murmurs. Eko is currently pursuing FDA clearance for the algorithm and will be rolling it out with its existing cardiac monitoring devices upon securing regulatory clearance.