HITLAB announces publication of study in JMIR Publications

HITLAB • October 4, 2022

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 1 in 4 deaths. One important indicator of cardiac health is the QT interval. Prolonged or shortened QT intervals increase susceptibility to cardiac issues and can even lead to sudden cardiac arrest. The traditional method of QT interval measurement is the 12-lead ECG (“electrocardiogram”), which can only be performed in medical facilities due to the need for qualified physicians to manually annotate the data. This presents barriers to access, particularly for lower-income populations.  

AccurKardia, a software company that provides clinical-grade, device agnostic, automated ECG analytic, recently conducted a study in collaboration with HITLAB and the SUNY Downstate team. Headed by Sara Chokshi and Jason Lazar, the study compared the startup’s AccurBeat platform, which usesproprietary AI and computational algorithms to assess smart watch-recorded ECGs, with the standard 12-lead ECG. 

The study recruited 50 participants with no known or suspected cardiovascular disease, aged22+ with a mean age of 46. For each participant, two consecutive 30-second Apple Watch ECG recordings were conducted. Within 15 minutes of the second recording, a 10-second 12-lead ECG was performed. The results showed the smart watch-recorded ECGs as assessed by AccurBeat were comparable to the 12-lead ECG. There were significant positive associations between QT and QTc intervals from AccurBeat and the standard 12-lead ECG which remained after adjusting for age, heart rate changes, and sex. Furthermore, over 90 and 94% of average measurements of QT and QTc, respectively, intervals between AccurBeat and the QT/QTc intervals from the 12-lead ECG were within the 95% confidence level of the average difference between the two measurements. 

The development and utilization of digital technologies in the healthcare space has advanced rapidly in recent years, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, wearables, such as smart watches, have emerged as a valuable tool for accurately tracking health indicators without the need for clinic visits. The results of the AccurKardia and HITLAB study show promise for the AccurBeat platform and for the implementation of computerized algorithms into clinical settings. Continuous, real-time monitoring of cardiac health using this platform can help prevent more cardiac arrests through quick detection of any irregularities. 

The team plans to conduct follow-up studies to include populations with cardiovascular diseases. The study can also be extended to include older populations. Juan C. Jimenez, CEO of AccurKardia says “This initial publication regarding AccurBeat serves as the foundation by which AccurKardia can bring live-saving solutions – capable of integrating with readily available consumer devices – to the larger cardiac space allowing for quality care regardless of zip code. We are committed to saving lives and closing the gap of health inequities through accessible, accurate, affordable and easy-to-use technology solutions in the ECG space.” 

Such remote monitoring tools demonstrate potential for not just improving healthcare access in countries around the world, but also helping ease the burden of physicians and other healthcare professionals by reducing manual work. 

With this study we continue to pave the way toward enabling continuous monitoring for prevention of cardiac events. A tool like this has the potential for meaningful impact clinically as well as on accessibility,” said Sara Chokshi, Director HITLAB Research Practice.

Check out the published article here.

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