Nav: Home

AI -- a new tool for cardiac diagnostics

May 05, 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) may be an aid to interpreting ECG results, helping healthcare staff to diagnose diseases that affect the heart. Researchers at Uppsala University and heart specialists in Brazil have developed an AI that automatically diagnoses atrial fibrillation and five other common ECG abnormalities just as well as a cardiologist. The study has been published in Nature Communications.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple test that can be used to check the heart's rhythm and electrical activity. The results are shown on a graph that can reveal various conditions that affect the heart. The tool is routinely used in healthcare and each ECG needs to be interpreted manually by a cardiologist.

The new study demonstrates that an AI is capable of automatically diagnosing the abnormalities indicated by an ECG. The AI was initially trained on a database comprising over two million ECGs that had already been diagnosed manually. In this way, it can learn to recognise typical patterns for the six most common ECG abnormalities and then make a diagnosis of another patient with one of these conditions - with the same precision as a cardiologist.

The method is currently not ready for use in clinics and hospitals; however, the researchers believe that it offers great potential for improved cardiovascular care in low and middle-income countries where large parts of the population lack the same level of access to specialists who are able to interpret ECG results as we enjoy in Sweden.

"This is the first result of a collaboration that we have built up over the past two years. I have great confidence that in the future this type of deep collaboration between AI researchers and medical researchers will be able to create new knowledge that can help people enjoy a better quality of life," says Thomas Schon, professor of automatic control, who works in machine learning and AI at Uppsala University and was responsible for the technical part of the study.

The mathematical model (known as a deep artificial neural network) on which the study is based is a good example of the basic concept behind machine learning, where computers build their own model and then use it to learn to solve tasks based on collected data. The method differs from the classic method of working with a computer where the computer is manually programmed to perform a very specific task. The results for many problems have proved to be better when machine learning is used and the computer itself is allowed to identify patterns from gathered figures, texts, diagrams and images.
-end-
Antonio H. Ribeiro, Manoel H. Ribeiro, Gabriela M.M. Paixao, Derick M. Oliveira, Paulo R. Gomes, Jessica A. Canazart, Milton P. S. Ferreira, Carl R. Andersson, Peter W. Macfarlane, Wagner Meira Jr., Thomas B. Schon, Antonio Luiz P. Ribeiro. Automatic diagnosis of the 12-lead ECG using a deep neural network. Nature Communications, 11(1760), 2020. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-15432-4

Uppsala University

Related Healthcare Articles:

Women and men executives have differing perceptions of healthcare workplaces according to a survey report in the Journal of Healthcare Management
Healthcare organizations that can attract and retain talented women executives have the advantage over their peers, finds a special report in the September/October issue of the Journal of Healthcare Management, an official publication of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
Greater financial integration generally not associated with better healthcare quality
New findings from a Dartmouth-led study, published in the August issue of Health Affairs, show that larger, more integrated healthcare systems do not generally deliver better quality care, and that there is significant variation in quality scores across hospitals and physician practices, regardless of whether they are independent or owned by larger systems.
Wearable sensor may help to assess stress in healthcare workers
A wearable biosensor may help monitor stress experienced by healthcare professionals, according to a study published in Physiological Reports.
Healthcare innovators focus on 'quality as a business strategy' -- update from Journal of Healthcare Quality
Despite two decades of effort -- targeting care processes, outcomes, and most recently the value of care - progress has been slow in closing the gap between quality and cost in the US healthcare system.
How runaway healthcare costs are a threat to older adults and what to do about it
Empowering Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices, accelerating the adoption of value-based care, using philanthropy as a catalyst for reform and expanding senior-specific models of care are among recommendations for reducing healthcare costs published in a new special report and supplement to the Winter 2019-20 edition of Generations, the journal of the American Society of Aging (ASA).
How can healthcare achieve real technology driven transformation?
Real transformation in healthcare through the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, telecommunications, and other advanced technologies could provide significant improvements in healthcare quality, productivity, and access.
Increasing transparency in the healthcare sector: More might not be better
More isn't always better. That's what researchers say when it comes to transparency in the US healthcare system.
LGBT+ women face barriers to healthcare
New study suggests diversity messaging is not filtering down to frontline staff.
US and China should collaborate, not compete, to bring AI to healthcare
In the wake of the US government ordering the Chinese artificial intelligence company, iCarbonX, to divest its majority ownership stake in the Cambridge, Mass.-based company PatientsLikeMe, Eric Topol, MD, of Scripps Research, has co-written a commentary arguing for more, not less, collaboration between China and the US on artificial intelligence (AI) development.
Study highlights need for integrated healthcare for the homeless
A University of Birmingham study has found alarming evidence of severe mental health problems, substance dependence and alcohol misuse amongst homeless population.
More Healthcare News and Healthcare Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Warped Reality
False information on the internet makes it harder and harder to know what's true, and the consequences have been devastating. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around technology and deception. Guests include law professor Danielle Citron, journalist Andrew Marantz, and computer scientist Joy Buolamwini.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.