What You Should Know:
– The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has granted next-generation cardiac AI company Eko an award totaling $2.7 million to support continued collaborative work with Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
– The grant will focus on validating algorithms and help more accurately screen for heart murmurs and valvular heart disease during routine office visits with Northwestern Medicine.
– By incorporating data from tens of thousands of heart patterns into Eko sensors and algorithms, clinicians will have cardiologist-level precision in detecting subtle abnormalities from normal sounds.
Eko, a digital health company building AI-powered screening and telehealth solutions to fight cardiovascular disease, today announced it has been awarded a $2.7 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will fund the continued collaborative work with Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute to validate algorithms that help providers screen for pathologic heart murmurs and valvular heart disease during routine office visits.
Eko and Northwestern first announced their collaboration in March 2019 to provide a simpler, lower-cost way for clinicians to identify patients with heart disease without the use of screening tools such as echocardiograms which are typically only available at specialty clinics. By incorporating data from tens of thousands of heart patterns into the stethoscope and its algorithms, clinicians will have cardiologist-level precision in detecting subtle abnormalities from normal sounds.
“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and valvular heart disease often goes undetected because of the challenge of hearing murmurs with traditional stethoscopes, particularly in noisy or busy environments. A highly accurate clinical decision support algorithm that is able to detect and classify valvular heart disease will help improve accuracy of diagnosis and the detection of potential cardiac abnormalities at the earliest possible time, allowing for timely intervention,” said James D. Thomas, MD, director of the Center for Heart Valve Disease at Northwestern Medicine and the clinical study’s principal investigator. “Our work with Eko aspires to extend the auscultatory expertise of cardiologists to more general practitioners to better serve our patient community, playing a pivotal role in growing the future of cardiovascular medicine.”
Recent FDA Clearance and Telehealth Platform Launch
This recognition comes on the heels of several key company milestones, including the clearance of Eko’s cardiac AI algorithms by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the launch of Eko’s AI-powered telehealth platform. Eko’s ECG-based deep learning algorithm, developed on a large clinical dataset in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, can help efficiently identify signs of possible heart failure in patients.
Eko’s AI-Powered telehealth platform for virtual pulmonary and cardiac exams, providing clinicians within-person level exam capabilities during video visits. The platform is already deployed by more than 200 health systems for telehealth, the platform goes beyond standard video conferencing to facilitate stethoscope audio, ECG live-streaming, and FDA-cleared identification of atrial fibrillation (AFib) and heart murmurs.