by Joe Carlson
If your heart is working normally, its left ventricle is pushing out 55 to 70 percent of its total blood volume with each beat. If this “ejection fraction” falls below 40 percent, you may have at least mild heart failure and may feel winded walking up stairs. But cardiologists have long sought a quick and inexpensive way to detect people whose heart is performing between those ranges and can be treated before their condition worsens. Now the Mayo Clinic is teaming up with the California medical device company Eko to conduct a clinical trial to see whether a new kind of digital stethoscope can be used as an early screening tool to detect compromised hearts. Heart failure affects 6.5 million Americans today, and many of them have asymptomatic left-ventricular dysfunction that could potentially be detected with the system…Mayo is working with Eko to put the device to a new use, which will eventually require its own FDA clearance. “The core concept is, can we detect silent disease, or someone who is going to develop disease, in a way that is actionable so we can improve health?” said Dr. Paul Friedman, head of cardiac medicine at Mayo. “That’s our goal.”
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Additional coverage: mHealth Intelligence
Context: Paul Friedman, M.D. is chair of cardiovascular medicine at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Friedman's research has focused on advanced treatments for clinical arrhythmias. You can read more about his research here.
Contact: Duska Anastasijevic