New Stethoscope Technology Allows for Earlier Diagnosis of Heart Problems

Paul Hiltz, President/CEO, FACHE

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to make significant advancements in the field of medicine and healthcare, offering an array of applications that can improve patient care, diagnosis and treatment. I am thrilled to announce that NCH is the first healthcare system in the United States to use the Eko Sensora software platform.

This groundbreaking technology leverages AI to analyze heart data through the Eko Sensora software platform, offering a pioneering approach to diagnosing heart problems earlier than ever before. The Eko stethoscopes, coupled with the Sensora software platform, represent a significant advancement in the early detection of heart issues during routine exams.

Designed to assist both frontline technicians and physicians, the Eko stethoscopes and Sensora software platform offers a significant breakthrough in the early detection of heart issues during regular exams.

The Eko stethoscope is placed on the patient’s chest in predetermined locations for about 30 seconds per location. As the medical assistant or the nurse moves the stethoscope from position one to position two, the AI technology analyzes the sounds in position one. At the same time, it obtains sounds imposition two.

A segment in the stethoscope between the patient and the doctor’s ears sends a Bluetooth signal to an iPad in the exam room connected to Eko Sensora and its AI platform. The sounds are analyzed by this AI technology. Its real-time results are available within seconds of completing the four-point exam, and the patient gets real-time feedback. For those with positive readings, the results and next steps are then discussed. Next steps may include doing an echocardiogram or seeing a cardiologist.

Five locations within NCH participated in a 90-day pilot program with more than 1,000 patients, using the Eko Health stethoscope and the Sensora software platform. Doctors were able to identify potential structural heart disease in almost 13% of these patients – who had not previously been diagnosed with heart problems.

Now that the pilot study is completed, the implementation phase has begun – with the Eko Health stethoscopes and Sensora platform software now available at more than 14 NCH locations.

The Eko stethoscope in current use at NCH is for the heart only. However, awaiting FDA approval is an upgraded version called the CORE 500. The EKG on the CORE 500 will help in detecting AFib while the AI Sensora with CORE 500 will also detect heart disease and pulmonary hypertension.

AI is pioneering change, saving lives, and enhancing the wellbeing of our community.

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