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AI ‘can diagnose heart problems in four seconds’

Cardiac centres could save 54 clinician days per year, say researchers

Artificial intelligence (AI) can diagnose heart problems in as little as four seconds, researchers have claimed.

The tests found machines are now as good at spotting illness as doctors are.

Analysing a patient’s heart function on a cardiac MRI scan currently takes doctors around 13 minutes.

But a new trial by University College London (UCL) showed an AI programme could read the scans in a fraction of the time with equal accuracy.

There are approximately 150,000 such scans performed in the UK each year, and researchers estimate that fully using AI to read them could save 54 clinician-days at each cardiac centre per year, the Telegraph reports.

Dr Charlotte Manisty, who led the research, said cardiovascular MRI offers unparalleled image quality for assessing heart structure and function, but current manual analysis remains basic and outdated.

“Automated machine learning techniques offer the potential to change this and radically improve efficiency, and we look forward to further research that could validate its superiority to human analysis,” she stated.

Manisty added that automated techniques are at least as good as humans, with the potential soon to be “super-human” – i.e. transforming clinical and research measurement precision.