Artificial intelligence could help diagnose a deadly heart condition

Sep 25, 2019 | Katrina Sorensen, Research Coordinator | @katrinasorensen


This story originally appeared on and was written by Angelica LaVito.

Have you ever felt your heart racing? For most people, this is a normal reaction to things like exercise, fear, stress, anger and even love. Your heart's electrical system is sped up due to your "fight or flight" instincts. When you cease your activity or calm your emotions, your heart resumes it's natural rhythm.

For some, though, that's not always the case. In an estimated 1 in 7,000 people, these triggers can cause dangerously fast and irregular heartbeats, called arrhythmias, which can lead to fainting, seizures and even sudden cardiac death. Often times, this stems from a genetic heart rhythm disorder known as long QT syndrome. Due to is relative rarity, long QT syndrome often goes undetected until symptoms present themselves.

This was the case for Abrielle Watschke. Unbeknownst to her family, Abrielle was born with long QT syndrome.  At the age of 2, while at home with her family, Abrielle experienced cardiac arrest. Thankfully, her father was able to initiate CPR and an ambulance quickly arrived, reviving Abrielle.

AliveCor, a medical device start-up company, and Mayo Clinic are hoping to be able to more easily detect long QT syndrome before tragic stories like Abrielle's occur. A recent study conducted by the Genetic Heart Rhythm Clinic on one of AliveCor's artificial intelligence devices found the technology was able to accurately diagnoses long QT syndrome 79 percent of the time.

Read more about this new technology and Abrielle's story on the CNBC website.

Mayo Clinic is an investor in AliveCor

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Genetic Heart Rhythm Diseases blog.

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