Heart palpitations, sudden severe pain in the chest, these are the symptoms which scare everyone. Sometimes these can also be a sign of some major disease, especially abnormal heartbeat. But now scientists have developed such an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool, which can tell with 80 percent accuracy through ECG test alone whether a person is at risk of a fatal heart attack in the future or not.

British researchers have developed a new AI tool that can predict a person's risk of irregular heartbeat (ventricular arrhythmia) with 80 percent accuracy. Ventricular arrhythmia is a condition where there is irregular activity in the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. Due to this, the heartbeat increases and the blood pressure decreases, which can lead to unconsciousness and even sudden death if immediate treatment is not received.

This AI tool, developed by a team led by Leicester University, UK, has been named VA-ResNet-50. In their study, published in the European Heart Journal-Digital Health, this tool was used to check the ECG of 270 adults. These ECGs were taken between 2014 and 2022 during people's daily routine in their homes.

What was the result of the study?

Out of these 270 people, about 159 had to face fatal ventricular arrhythmia on an average of 1.6 years after ECG. VA-ResNet-50 was used to retrospectively measure a patient's 'normal' heart rate to see if their heart was at risk of a fatal arrhythmia. In four out of five cases, the AI ​​tool correctly predicted which patient's heart was at risk for ventricular arrhythmia.

What the experts say

Andre Ng, professor of cardiac electrophysiology at the university, says that today's clinical guidelines, which help us decide which patients are at highest risk of ventricular arrhythmias and which should receive life-saving treatment, e.g. that implantable cardioverter defibrillators will provide the most benefit are not accurate enough. Due to this, the number of deaths due to this condition increases significantly.

He further said that importantly, if the tool identifies a person at risk, the risk of a fatal event is three times higher than that of normal adults. Using AI to examine patients' electrocardiograms provides a new way to determine their risk and suggest appropriate treatment, saving lives.

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