AI-Powered Stethoscope Detects Heart Disease

Eko Health is rolling out its AI-powered stethoscopes to primary care practices across the U.K.

Image credits: Eko Health

Emeryville, California-based Eko Health is implementing an initiative headed by Imperial College London to distribute its stethoscopes with artificial intelligence to primary care practitioners around the United Kingdom.

TRICORDER, a National Institute for Health and Care Research(NIHR) funded implementation program led by researchers at Imperial College London, will deploy Eko's AI-enabled technology (marketed in the U.S. as SENSORA™) to primary care practices across the UK. This novel implementation will assist clinicians in their evaluation of heart failure (HF), valvular heart disease (VHD), and atrial fibrillation (AFib), ultimately serving as an AI-enabled clinical decision support tool for echocardiogram referrals.  

The team at Imperial College London will deploy Eko's technology to 100 General Practitioner (GP) practices across the UK. Patients visiting their GP will receive a brief, non-invasive cardiac exam. The exam uses an Eko digital stethoscope and app powered by the company's AI. When Eko's AI detects possible signs of cardiac disease, the GP can rapidly initiate further tests and potentially life-saving treatments. The current gold standard to detect heart failure is a blood test (NT-proBNP) that when ordered alone, initiates a long pathway that often fails to achieve early diagnosis and treatment in those who need it most. This novel deployment could improve heart disease outcomes for millions of people in communities across the UK.        

"Heart failure admission alone costs the UK over £2 billion annually, and an unacceptable 80% of these diagnoses are made during emergency admissions," said Dr. Nicholas Peters, Professor of Cardiology, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and the clinical-academic implementation team lead. Co-investigators Dr. Patrik Bächtiger and Dr. Mihir Kelshiker commented, "TRICORDER is a system-wide implementation of Eko's clinically effective AI technology. Implementing this tool in primary care could save the health payer system £2,400 per patient, eliminating the potential need for an emergency room visit."

"This deployment around the UK of our AI-enabled heart disease detection technology demonstrates the need for accurate and early heart disease detection," said Connor Landgraf, Co-founder and CEO of Eko Health. "We're proud to partner with leading academic institutions such as Imperial College London to validate the clinical utility and positive impact our technology has on the lives of millions of patients."

Related: Verily and iRhythm Deliver AFib Detecting Zio Watch

Eko's AI-enabled technology pairs a digital stethoscope with an electrocardiogram (ECG) to advanced machine learning algorithms that analyze ECG and heart sound data. TRICORDER utilizes clinically validated algorithms that detect reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFrEF) indicative of heart failure, structural murmurs indicative of valvular heart disease, and atrial fibrillation. The algorithms will empower clinicians to make more confident decisions for their patients' heart health.

  • Eko's HFrEF algorithm has been independently validated to achieve a detection sensitivity and specificity approaching 80%.
  • Eko's structural murmur algorithm was validated in a real-world evidence study presented at the 2023 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions (Abstract 306), which found that the algorithm has more than doubled the detection of valvular heart disease compared to the standard method by primary care professionals, 94.1% vs. 41.2%.
  • Eko's atrial fibrillation detection algorithm has been clinically validated to perform at 100% sensitivity and 96.2% specificity.

Eko's AI-enabled technology is commercially available in the U.S. and marketed to health systems as SENSORA™. The company's algorithm for HFrEF detection is undergoing U.S. FDA review for 510(k) clearance with the intent to market under SENSORA™ once 510(k) is obtained. U.S.-based health systems interested in learning more about SENSORA™ can visitekosensora.com.  

About Eko Health

Eko Health, Inc. is a leading digital health company advancing how healthcare professionals detect and monitor heart and lung disease with its portfolio of digital stethoscopes and AI detection platform, SENSORA™. The company's FDA-cleared technologies are used by hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals worldwide.

Sam Draper
December 4, 2023

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