Jacksonville study using AI app to help patients with congestive heart failure
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Artificial intelligence is used to prevent frequent trips to the emergency room for heart failure, and it’s part of a fairly new study being conducted in Jacksonville to help people who are at risk of dying from the condition.

Gary Babcock suffers from heart disease and has already suffered heart failure that led to him undergoing double bypass surgery to prevent a heart attack. But he’s not in the clear because he runs the risk of fluid buildup in the lungs, which can place life-threatening pressure on the heart.

“It’s really bad if you get fluid in your lungs,” he said.

It’s why he is taking part in a trial being conducted at the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research. The trial uses the HearO a Cordio App to determine if a person diagnosed with heart failure is experiencing fluid buildup in the lungs by recording the patient’s voice every day.

“It gives me a list of things to say, the same list every day. And I get real quiet. Right after I wake up, I generally go through the list,” Babcock said.

Dr. Michael Koren, the Center for Clinical Research director, says the app uses algorithms to detect fluid buildup.

“It looks for changes in the tenor of your voice or the number of words per sentence. And then it uses artificial intelligence, if things are moving in the wrong direction, if you have congestive heart failure. So, for example, if you are able to say five words per breath one month and then it goes down to three words per breath the next month, that can be an indication there’s a problem,” Koren said.

Data collected from the app is transmitted back to researchers who analyze the data and determine if the patient needs to be immediately treated to get rid of any fluid buildup.

Koren says heart failure is the No. 1 reason why many people get admitted into hospitals during frequent trips to the emergency room.

“And it’s a focal point for the insurers, particularly Medicare. They are very concerned that a lot of people diagnosed with congestive heart failure end up back in the hospital multiple times,” Koren said.

But when the app detects something is wrong, well before it’s too late, a patient can avoid a trip to the emergency room and simply call their doctor who can begin treatment to remove the fluid.

The doctor urges anyone diagnosed with heart failure to take part in the study by calling (904) 730-0101.

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