Putting artificial intelligence at the heart of health care — with help from MIT

Artificial intelligence is transforming industries around the world — and health care is no exception. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that AI-enhanced electrocardiograms (ECGs) have the potential to save lives by speeding diagnosis and treatment in patients with heart failure who are seen in the emergency room.

The lead author of the study is Demilade “Demi” Adedinsewo, a noninvasive cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic who is actively integrating the latest AI advancements into cardiac care and drawing largely on her learning experience with MIT Professional Education.

Identifying AI opportunities in health care

A dedicated practitioner, Adedinsewo is a Mayo Clinic Florida Women’s Health Scholar and director of research for the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship program. Her clinical research interests include cardiovascular disease prevention, women’s heart health, cardiovascular health disparities, and the use of digital tools in cardiovascular disease management.

Adedinsewo’s interest in AI emerged toward the end of her cardiology fellowship, when she began learning about its potential to transform the field of health care. “I started to wonder how we could leverage AI tools in my field to enhance health equity and alleviate cardiovascular care disparities,” she says.

During her fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Adedinsewo began looking at how AI could be used with ECGs to improve clinical care. To determine the effectiveness of the approach, the team retroactively used deep learning to analyze ECG results from patients with shortness of breath. They then compared the results with the current standard of care — a blood test analysis — to determine if the AI enhancement improved the diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart is unable to adequately pump blood to the rest of the body. While she understood the clinical implications of the research, she found the AI components challenging.

“Even though I have a medical degree and a master’s degree in public health, those credentials aren’t really sufficient to work in this space,”

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