Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the main cause of mortality across the world. According to the World Health Organization, CVDs claim the lives of around 17.9 million people each year, accounting for an estimated 31 per cent of all fatalities globally. 85 per cent of these deaths result from a heart attack or a stroke. People with cardiovascular disease or at high cardiovascular risk require early identification and quick prevention because it only takes seconds to avert mortality.
Let's look at how Artificial Intelligence (AI) might help patients with cardiovascular problems and give better information to doctors.
How Artificial Intelligence is Being Used in Cardiology
In recent years, technical advancements in Artificial Intelligence have pushed the use of algorithms in medical activities such as prevention, diagnosis, risk assessment, and therapy selection.
1. Diagnosis of Pathology
When it comes to examining hearts for potential abnormalities, artificial intelligence can offer cardiologists a "head start." It can detect a problem early and identify those at a higher risk of developing heart disease in the future.
For example, a team of Stanford University researchers is utilising Artificial Intelligence to diagnose cardiac issues using an algorithm that evaluates the pace at which the heart pumps blood. The researchers demonstrated that their algorithm reads echocardiograms at the same level as a highly qualified cardiologist and can diagnose health issues more quickly and completely.
2. Heart Monitoring and Self-Care
Artificial Intelligence makes it possible to monitor people with heart diseases and detects signs of severe heart failure or cardiac arrest. Researchers have proposed using a deep-learning algorithm to analyse electrocardiography (ECG) recordings and make early detection of possible heart failure most likely. This algorithm was able to predict the cardiac history of patients, detect the difference between arrhythmia and a normal heartbeat onset, and predict the risk of the onset of chronic heart failure.
3. Treatment Selection
Artificial Intelligence can help in treatment selection for patients who have experienced a heart attack or narrowing the arteries. The algorithm can guide physicians to recommend the best treatment based on a patient's specific needs, by selecting from a list of appropriate treatments that include: blood pressure medication, blood thinners, artificial valves, or heart surgery.
4. Predicting Cardiac Risk
Health risk assessment for cardiovascular disease is a vital task for cardiologists. Physicians can use real-time data from sensors or from a patient's medical history to predict risk. For instance, a study suggests that AI can be used to predict the ten-year risk of stroke by analysing a patient's blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate. The study tested its algorithm on 859 patients and found that the risk assessment was just as accurate as the clinical judgement of a trained physician.
5. Cardiac Events Detection and Monitoring
The power of AI lies in its ability to analyse data at scale and make the right decisions fast. Machine learning algorithms have enabled physicians to detect adverse events in major hospitals with a high degree of accuracy. Deep-learning algorithms can detect and monitor cardiac events in real-time and track potential abnormalities. Mobile apps can provide real-time data from anywhere, allowing physicians to monitor patients remotely and provide better care.
Artificial Intelligence is transforming the way cardiologists diagnose and treat patients. It offers new opportunities for early detection and risk assessments and helps physicians select the best treatment for their patients. AI algorithms can detect adverse events, track cardiac events in real-time, and monitor patients in their homes without the need for frequent physician visits.
Artificial Intelligence is slowly changing the landscape of the healthcare industry and will probably have a significant impact on the way we treat disease and manage our health in the coming years.
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