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Artificial intelligence

AI Could Diagnose Your Heart Attack on the Phone—Even If You’re Not the Caller

January 12, 2018

An AI that listens in on 911 calls in Denmark will diagnose heart attacks, from voices and other background sounds, better than dispatchers can.

How it works: When someone calls for an ambulance in Copenhagen, an AI assistant called Corti will be listening in. Using sound-recognition software, it will analyze words and background noises—like a victim’s unusual breathing, even if that person is not the caller—to alert a dispatcher if it believes a heart attack is in progress.

Better than humans: As Fast Company points out, Danish dispatchers can recognize a heart attack over the phone about 73 percent of the time. An early study on Corti suggest the AI can spot one 95 percent of the time.

AI’s other diagnosis tricks: Machine-learning algorithms are helping doctors spot other medical issues early and more accurately too—from using voice analysis in diagnosing PTSD to identifying candidates for palliative care.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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