An electrocardiogram, abbreviated ECG, is a test used by doctors to record the electrical activity of patients’ hearts. ECG is a painless and non-invasive procedure. Scientists have used artificial intelligence to use ECG data to predict a person’s age and sex. With further advancement, scientists could help doctors determine the overall health status of a patient.
The research team from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester had published a paper titled “Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.” They described that they used ECG data from about 500,000 individuals to train the AI system. The tool is known as a convolutional neural network. The team used the tool to analyze another set of 275,000 peoples’ data. The AI system predicted sex with 90% accuracy but was inferior in predicting the age of the participants. It predicted the age correctly only 72% of the time.
The AI tool, when fed with data of people with high BP, heart disease, and low cardiac-efficiency, predicted their age seven years more than their chronological age. The tool’s results thus reflect that a 50-year-old with heart disease and BP would be predicted as 57 years old by the AI. The researchers believe that further research is required to establish the accuracy of AI-enhanced ECG to predict physiological age in healthy people.
Dr. Kapa, assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, said that scientists working in the field of aging and using physiologic age to measure how fast people were biologically aging. He also suggested that the discrepancy between a patient’s chronological age and the physiologic age, as predicted by the AI, could yield valuable insight to detect the presence of heart disease and other ailments.
This insight could prompt the doctors to investigate further, thereby leading to early detection and treatment of silent diseases. Diseases like cancer often don’t show symptoms until they reach an advanced stage. Despite treatment at these stages, the probability of getting fully cancer-free is very less. If tumors are detected early, they’re not too dangerous.
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