Eko, creators of a heart and lung monitoring platform that combines non-invasive cardiac sensors with machine learning, has announced a collaboration with Mayo Clinic to develop a data-driven technology – using machine learning and a smart digital stethoscope – to help physicians detect patients with potentially dangerous heart diseases that may otherwise be missed. Eko and Mayo Clinic will work together to develop and commercialize a machine learning-based algorithm that screens patients for the presence of a low ejection fraction – a weak heart pump. Once identified, evidence-based treatments are available that prolong life and reduce the risk of symptoms.
The technology leverages the Mayo Clinic’s vast cardiovascular database and their expertise in medical AI and heart disease screening, and combines it with Eko’s cardiac monitoring platform. Traditionally, ejection fraction is measured by imaging techniques such as echocardiography, which is a powerful but expensive and time consuming test that is less accessible to most people in North America and around the world than a doctor with a stethoscope. With this algorithm, Eko can help screen patients in seconds in the doctor’s office. Because the Eko tool can be used by any health care provider, it may detect heart function abnormalities earlier and in patients who might not otherwise be screened for heart disease.
“It’s a privilege to collaborate with Mayo Clinic on this technology that can assist physicians with their patients’ cardiovascular care,” said Eko CEO Connor Landgraf. “By co-developing this technology, we can combine the knowledge of millions of ECGs and healthcare screenings to get an almost instantaneous snapshot of a patient’s heart.”
“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, M.D., Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. “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.”
Eko aims to gain FDA approval for the technology after running clinical studies with Mayo Clinic to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the algorithms for in-clinic screening.
Mayo Clinic and Dr. Friedman have financial interest in the technology referenced in this press release. Mayo Clinic will use any revenue it receives to support its not-for-profit mission in patient care, education and research.