Mayo Clinic and UltraSight to develop AI algorithms for cardiac ultrasound

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | June 06, 2024
Artificial Intelligence Ultrasound
Mayo Clinic and AI software company UltraSight announced plans on Monday to develop algorithms for detecting and diagnosing cardiovascular disease. Through this partnership, UltraSight will have access to the health system's researchers, clinicians, and data in order to further develop its existing software to analyze and interpret cardiac ultrasound images.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Heart Association projects that the number of adults with cardiovascular disease (including stroke, but not including high blood pressure) will increase from 28 million to 45 million from 2020 to 2050.

"Today, there is a significant shortage of expert sonographers in the U.S., along with a substantial reliance on these highly trained professionals for treatment decisions," Davidi Vortman, CEO of UltraSight, told HCB News.

This is where he believes AI can help bridge the gap. With this software, medical practitioners such as advanced practice providers (APPs), nurses, and residents will be able to capture diagnostic-quality cardiac ultrasound images at the point of care.

"Different health systems have different ideas regarding the best users of these AI-driven cardiac solutions," Vortman explained. "For instance, in hospital settings, residents and nurses may use the software to perform initial scans and triage patients, ensuring that only those who need specialist attention are referred to expert sonographers."

In outpatient clinics and primary care settings, general practitioners and APPs can use the software to perform routine cardiac assessments, which will improve the public's access to diagnostic services and reduce the need for specialist referrals.

UltraSight's Real-Time Guidance software received FDA clearance last July for assisting medical professionals in acquiring cardiac ultrasound images. The software pairs with point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) devices to provide real-time guidance on how to maneuver the probe to get a diagnostic-quality cardiac ultrasound image.

The partnership with Mayo Clinic will take things to the next level because the plan is to create an end-to-end solution and decision support system. Healthcare providers will be able to use this to make more informed diagnoses and treatment decisions with POCUS devices.

Vortman believes this new solution has the potential to make cardiac imaging more cost effective by reducing the need for repeated scans and lessening operator dependency. It may also increase sonographer productivity by triaging and prioritizing patients who need their attention versus those with no findings.

"By extending the capability to perform high-quality cardiac ultrasound to a broader range of caregivers, UltraSight not only enhances diagnostic capacity but also alleviates the workload on highly specialized sonographers," he added. "This ensures that their expertise is reserved for more complex cases, thereby optimizing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of cardiac care across various healthcare environments."

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