AI tool predicts lethal heart rhythm with 80% accuracy

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In a Leicester study that looked astatine whether artificial intelligence (AI) tin beryllium utilized to foretell whether a personification was astatine consequence of a lethal bosom rhythm, an AI instrumentality correctly identified nan information 80 per cent of nan time.

The findings of nan study, led by Dr Joseph Barker moving pinch Professor Andre Ng, Professor of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Head of Department of Cardiovascular Sciences astatine nan University of Leicester and Consultant Cardiologist astatine nan University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, person been published successful nan European Heart Journal – Digital Health.

Ventricular arrhythmia (VA) is simply a bosom hit disturbance originating from nan bottommost chambers (ventricles) wherever nan bosom thumps truthful accelerated that humor unit drops which tin quickly lead to nonaccomplishment of consciousness and abrupt decease if not treated immediately.

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow Dr Joseph Barker co-ordinated nan multicentre study astatine nan National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre,  and co-developed an AI instrumentality pinch Dr Xin Li, Lecturer successful Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering. The instrumentality examined Holter electrocardiograms (ECGs) of 270 adults taken during their normal regular daily astatine home.  

These adults had nan Holter ECGs taken arsenic portion of their NHS attraction betwixt 2014 and 2022. Outcomes for these patients were known, and 159 had sadly knowledgeable lethal ventricular arrhythmias, connected mean 1.6 years pursuing nan ECG.

The AI tool, VA-ResNet-50, was utilized to retrospectively examine 'normal for patient' bosom rhythms to spot if their bosom was tin of nan lethal arrythmias.

Current objective guidelines that thief america to determine which patients are astir astatine consequence of going connected to acquisition ventricular arrhythmia, and who would astir use from nan life-saving curen pinch an implantable cardioverter defibrillator are insufficiently accurate, starring to a important number of deaths from nan condition.

Ventricular arrhythmia is uncommon comparative to nan organization it tin affect, and successful this study we collated nan largest Holter ECG dataset associated pinch longer word VA outcomes. 

We recovered nan AI instrumentality performed good compared pinch existent aesculapian guidelines, and correctly predicted which patient's bosom was tin of ventricular arrhythmia successful 4 retired of each 5 cases.

If nan instrumentality said a personification was astatine risk, nan consequence of lethal arena was 3 times higher than normal adults.

These findings propose that utilizing artificial intelligence to look astatine patients' electrocardiograms while successful normal cardiac hit offers a caller lens done which we tin find their risk, and propose due treatment; yet redeeming lives."

Professor Andre Ng, Professor of Cardiac Electrophysiology and Head of Department of Cardiovascular Sciences astatine nan University of Leicester 

He added: "This is important work, which wouldn't person been imaginable without an exceptional squad successful Dr Barker and Dr Xin Li, and their belief and dedication to caller methods of study of historically disregarded data."

Dr Barker's activity has been recognized pinch a van Geest Foundation Award and Heart Rhythm Society Scholarship and much investigation will beryllium carried retired to create nan activity further.

For nan afloat paper, please visit

The NIHR Leicester BRC is portion of nan NIHR and hosted by nan University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust successful business pinch nan University of Leicester, Loughborough University and nan University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group.


Journal reference:

Barker, J., et al. (2024). Artificial intelligence for ventricular arrhythmia capacity utilizing ambulatory electrocardiograms. European Heart Journal.