Medtronic launches AI pilot program to tackle race, gender disparities in cardiac care

Medtronic launches AI pilot program to tackle race, gender disparities in cardiac care

Medtronic is launching a pilot program to screen real-world data for people who may have a heightened risk of sudden cardiac arrest, with the goal of pairing them up with potentially life-saving hardware before a heart attack occurs.

In collaboration with the artificial intelligence developer Mpirik and the healthcare quality tracking company Vizient, the effort will focus on addressing disparities in care across gender and race. According to Medtronic, men of color and women of all races receive devices at lower rates compared to white men—such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators—even if they are medically indicated.

“This pilot program offers an innovative and scalable method to use real-world clinical data—and more sophisticated approaches than traditional manual chart reviews—enabling earlier, appropriate care for at-risk patients, while also improving quality and reducing potential disparities,” Kweli Thompson, general manager of Medtronic’s defibrillation solutions division, said in a statement.

“This exciting technology provides the ability to improve care pathways, digitize population health management and collect a robust set of data to leverage for publications,” Thompson added.

The project will mine electronic health record data at five hospitals to help identify patients at a higher risk of a heart attack based on multiple clinical factors, with the goal of slating them for earlier specialist referrals and more timely interventions, using Mpirik’s Cardiac Intelligence AI program.

“Ensuring adherence to a care pathway, assessing personalized disease progression and screening potential cardiac disease, without differentiation for gender or race, are complex issues that our machine learning and natural language processing help to solve,” said Mpirik CEO Logan Brigman.

Separately, Medtronic is also working with Mpirik to chart disparities in the treatment of aortic stenosis, along with hospitals in four U.S. cities. That program aims to identify patients with the heart valve disease who may need additional follow-up and assistance in care.

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