Eko today announced a global collaboration with AstraZeneca to accelerate the development of digital health tools for the earlier screening of cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure.
Through the collaboration, AstraZeneca and Eko will explore accelerating the development of Eko algorithms, enhancing clinical trials with Eko technology and potentially building new heart failure detection solutions.
Heart failure is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, affecting approximately 64 million people worldwide. Heart failure happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood into the body and is most commonly detected by echocardiogram imaging tests that are not normally conducted during a physical exam. Because of the limited access to echocardiography or other diagnostic tests, heart failure is frequently diagnosed late, making life-prolonging treatment more challenging. Heart failure remains as fatal as some of the most common cancers and is the leading cause of hospitalization for those over the age of 65, representing a significant clinical and economic burden.
Joris Silon, Senior Vice President, Cardiovascular Renal and Metabolism, AstraZeneca, said, “There are millions of people living with or at risk for heart failure. AstraZeneca’s collaboration with Eko will tap into cutting-edge digital health technologies that could allow us to harness the potential to improve access to individualized care and generate better patient outcomes.”
Over the past year, Eko has made significant advances in improving the detection of heart failure at the point of care. In December 2019, Eko announced FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for a novel ECG-based algorithm that can identify reduced Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction (LVEF), a measure commonly used to diagnose patients with heart failure. This algorithm, when cleared by the FDA, will be compatible with the DUO, Eko’s handheld stethoscope and ECG device. By leveraging artificial intelligence, everyday in-office exams can be turned into a powerful, accessible screening tool.
“Eko was founded to provide a better way to understand our heart and lung health and to improve cardiopulmonary care for patients through digital technology and novel algorithms,” said Connor Landgraf, CEO and co-founder of Eko. “Eko’s collaboration with AstraZeneca will allow us to expand the capability of our technology, generate real-world data, and explore disease management solutions while leveraging AstraZeneca’s global expertise and existing relationships across the treatment continuum for heart failure.”