An enhanced stethoscope can screen heart failure at point of care
What is the aim?
An electrocardiogram-enabled stethoscope can be used to detect heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). The stethoscope can record single-lead electrocardiograms during two-minute routine examinations, which can then be visualised in a mobile phone app via Bluetooth. The data are analysed in real time by an algorithm to detect left ventricular ejection fraction of 40% or lower. Further research is needed on the stethoscope’s cost-effectiveness and effect on health outcomes.
What has been achieved?
In February 2021, the project began the implementation of the enhanced stethoscope in 10 general practice surgeries across two regions in the UK for 200 people suspected to have HFrEF. The study will compare time to diagnosis and resource utilisation.
Bachtiger P, Petri CF, Scott FE, et al. 2022. Point-ofcare screening for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction using artificial intelligence during ECG-enabled stethoscope examination in London, UK: a prospective, observational, multicentre study. Lancet Digit Health 4(2): e117-e25