Heart failure

Jacksonville study using AI app to help patients with congestive heart failure

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Artificial intelligence is being used to prevent frequent trips to the emergency room for heart failure, and it’s part of a fairly recent study in Jacksonville to help people who are at risk of dying from the disease.

Gary Babcock suffers from heart disease and once suffered heart failure which led to him having to undergo double bypass surgery to prevent a heart attack. But it is not safe because it runs the risk of fluid buildup in the lungs, which can put deadly pressure on the heart.

“It’s really bad if you have fluid in your lungs,” he said.

That’s why he’s participating in a trial being conducted at the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research. The test uses the HearO a Cordio app to determine if a person diagnosed with heart failure experiences fluid buildup in the lungs by recording the patient’s voice daily.

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“It gives me a list of things to say, the same list every day. And I get really quiet. Right after I wake up, I usually go through the list,” Babcock said.

Dr. Michael Koren, director of the Clinical Research Center, explains that the app uses algorithms to detect fluid buildup.

“It looks for changes in the pitch of your voice or the number of words per sentence. And then it uses artificial intelligence, if things go the wrong way, if you have congestive heart failure. So, for example, if you’re able to say five words per breath one month and then it drops to three words per breath the next month, that could indicate there’s a problem,” Koren said.

Data collected from the app is passed on to researchers who analyze the data and determine if the patient needs immediate treatment to get rid of any fluid buildup.

Koren says heart failure is the main reason many people are admitted to hospitals with frequent trips to the emergency room.

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“And that’s a focal point for insurers, especially Medicare. They are very concerned that many people diagnosed with congestive heart failure end up in hospital multiple times,” Koren said.

But when the app detects that something is wrong, long before it’s too late, a patient can avoid going to the ER and simply call their doctor who can begin treatment to remove the fluid.

The doctor urges anyone diagnosed with heart failure to participate in the study by calling (904) 730-0101.

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