Jacksonville study with AI app to help patients with congestive heart failure

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Artificial intelligence is being used to avoid frequent trips to the emergency room for heart failure, and it’s part of a fairly new study being conducted in Jacksonville to help people at risk of dying from the condition.

Gary Babcock suffers from a heart condition and has already had heart failure, which caused him to undergo double bypass surgery to prevent a heart attack. But he is not free because he is at risk of fluid buildup in the lungs, which can put life-threatening pressure on the heart.

“It’s really bad if you get fluid in your lungs,” he said.

That’s why he’s taking part in a trial being conducted at the Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research. The test uses the HearO a Cordio app to determine if a person diagnosed with heart failure is experiencing fluid buildup in the lungs by recording the patient’s voice every day.


“It gives me a list of things to say, the same list every day. And I get very quiet. Right after I wake up, I generally go through the list,” Babcock said.

dr. Michael Koren, director of the Center for Clinical Research, says the app uses algorithms to detect fluid buildup.

“It looks for changes in the tenor of your voice or the number of words per sentence. And then it uses artificial intelligence, when it goes the wrong way, when you have congestive heart failure. So, for example, if you can say five words per breath one month and the next month it goes to three words per breath, that could be an indication that there is a problem,” Koren said.

Data collected through the app is sent back to researchers who will analyze the data and determine if the patient needs immediate treatment to prevent fluid buildup.

Koren says heart failure is the No. 1 reason many people are hospitalized during frequent trips to the emergency room.


“And it’s a focal point for insurers, especially Medicare. They are very concerned that many people diagnosed with congestive heart failure will end up in hospital multiple times,” Koren said.

But when the app detects something is wrong, well before it’s too late, a patient can avoid a trip to the emergency room and simply call their doctor who can begin treatment to remove the fluid.

The doctor urges anyone diagnosed with heart failure to participate in the study by calling (904) 730-0101.

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