Mayo, Eko team on machine learning to detect heart abnormalities


The Mayo Clinic and health technology vendor Eko are working together to develop and commercialize a machine learning-based algorithm that screens patients for low ejection fraction, which is linked to heart failure. A low ejection fraction number, often measured by an echocardiogram, suggests problems with the heart's pumping function. However, echocardiography is an expensive and time-consuming medical imaging test using ultrasound that is less accessible than a doctor with a stethoscope. "With this collaboration, we hope to transform the stethoscope in the pocket of every physician and nurse from a hand tool to a power tool," said Paul Friedman, MD, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the Mayo Clinic. "The community practitioner performing high school sports physicals and the surgeon about to operate may be able to seamlessly tap the knowledge of an experienced cardiologist to determine if a weak heart pump is present simply by putting a stethoscope on a person's chest for a few seconds."

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