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AI Outperforms Sonographers in Diagnosis of Cardiac Function

Writer: Anusha Srinivasan '24

Editor: Surya Khatri '24

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Artificial intelligence has been making waves in numerous fields, and cardiology is no exception. In a groundbreaking study, Cedars-Sinai investigators found that AI outperforms sonographers in assessing and diagnosing cardiac function through echocardiogram assessments. This first-of-its-kind, randomized clinical trial assessed 3495 transthoracic echocardiogram studies. Researchers found that cardiologists agreed more frequently with AI initial assessment (requiring correction in 16.8% of cases) than with sonographers’ initial assessment (requiring correction in 27.2% of cases) [1].


The senior author of this study, Dr. David Ouyang, believes that these findings have broad implications for the field of cardiology. The study has raised the bar for AI technologies seeking regulatory approval, offering clinicians extra security and confidence that the AI they are adopting can help improve the quality of care that they deliver [1].


However, there are also ethical and societal considerations that arise from the use of AI in healthcare. One potential concern is the displacement of sonographers and other healthcare professionals who may be replaced by AI technologies. It is essential to consider the potential impact on employment and job security for healthcare workers as AI continues to advance in the field [3].


Another consideration is the potential for bias in the AI algorithms used for diagnosis. It is crucial to ensure that these algorithms are developed and trained using diverse data sets to avoid bias and ensure that they are effective across different populations. Additionally, transparency and explainability in AI algorithms are crucial to ensure that patients understand how their diagnosis was made [4].


While AI continues to advance in the field of cardiology, there is also the potential for the technology to be used for preventative care. AI algorithms can identify patterns and predict which patients are at higher risk for certain cardiac conditions by analyzing large data sets of patient information. This can enable clinicians to intervene earlier and potentially prevent or delay the onset of cardiac disease [5].


In conclusion, AI has the potential to revolutionize the accuracy and efficiency of cardiac diagnosis and support preventative care efforts. However, it is essential to address ethical and societal considerations to ensure that the technology is developed and implemented in a responsible and equitable manner.


  1. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (2023, April 5). Is artificial intelligence better at assessing heart health?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 10, 2023 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/04/230405112105.htm

  2. Frankenfield, J. (2023, May 1). Artificial Intelligence: What it is and how it is used. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/artificial-intelligence-ai.asp

  3. Hui Wen Loh, Chui Ping Ooi, Silvia Seoni, Prabal Datta Barua, Filippo Molinari, U Rajendra Acharya, Application of explainable artificial intelligence for healthcare: A systematic review of the last decade (2011–2022), Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, Volume 226, 2022, 107161, ISSN 0169-2607, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmpb.2022.107161.

  4. World Economic Forum. (2018). The Future of Jobs in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Global Reskilling Imperative. Retrieved from https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2018.pdf

  5. Yan, Y., Zhang, J. W., Zang, G. Y., & Pu, J. (2019). The primary use of artificial intelligence in cardiovascular diseases: what kind of potential role does artificial intelligence play in future medicine?. Journal of geriatric cardiology : JGC, 16(8), 585–591. https://doi.org/10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2019.08.010

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