Smart stethoscope platform Eko Health launches in the UK

Steven Loeb · November 6, 2023 · Short URL:

The company received UKCA marking and partnered with Imperial College London

Eko is a smart stethoscope company that uses AI to help providers identify early signs of cardiovascular disease: it has devices that can be used by both clinicians and patients at home to listen to heart and lung sounds, after which its machine learning algorithms interpret that data and provide better insights.

The company's technologies are used by hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals worldwide, and now it's expanding into a new market, announcing on Monday that it has received UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking, giving it regulatory approval to deploy its devices in the United Kingdom.

It also announced a new implementation program, called TRICORDER, which is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and led by researchers at Imperial College London. Through this program, Eko will deploy its technology, called SENSORA in the U.S., to 100 primary care practices across the UK.

Patients visiting their GP will receive a brief, non-invasive cardiac exam using an Eko digital stethoscope and app. When Eko's AI detects possible signs of cardiac disease, the GP can initiate further tests.       

TRICORDER uses algorithms that detect reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFrEF) indicative of heart failure, structural murmurs indicative of valvular heart disease, and atrial fibrillation. Eko's HFrEF algorithm has been independently validated to achieve a detection sensitivity and specificity approaching 80%.

SENSORA is currently undergoing U.S. FDA review for 510(k) clearance for HFrEF detection.

"Heart failure admission alone costs the UK over £2 billion annually, and an unacceptable 80% of these diagnoses are made during emergency admissions," Dr. Nicholas Peters, Professor of Cardiology, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and the clinical-academic implementation team lead, said in a statement.

According to TRICORDER’s co-investigators, Dr. Patrik Bächtiger and Dr. Mihir Kelshiker, Eko’s technology could save the health payer system £2,400 per patient, the equivalent to roughly $3,000. 

The Emeryville, California headquartered Eko Health has raised over $125 million in venture funding, with investors that include Highland Capital Partners, Questa Capital, Artis Ventures, DigiTx Partners, NTTVC, Morningside Technology Ventures Limited, Mayo Clinic, and Sutter Health.

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