News | Congenital Heart | February 16, 2021

More Than 50,000 Children Screened for Congenital Heart Defects Using AI-enabled Stethoscopes

Intelligent stethoscope with integrated ECG saved more than 36 lives  and there are plans to expand screenings to 500,000 children worldwide

February 16, 2021 – In recognition of World Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) Awareness week, HD Medical Inc. announced it has screened over 50,000 children for CHDs using HD Steth, an ECG and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled stethoscope. These screenings have been conducted at multiple locations in India, helping to save more than 36 lives to date. HD Medical said it plans to expand the screenings to over 500,000 children worldwide.

The children diagnosed with CHD were provided life-saving treatments and surgeries by the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals in India. 

CHDs are the most common types of birth defects. One out of 100 babies are born with CHD worldwide and nearly 40,000 infants in the U.S. are born each year with CHDs. In India, each year approximately 300,000 children are born with CHD and approximately 25 percent die before their first birthday. The absence of early screening and sophisticated pediatric care is causing over 250 deaths among children every day in India. Conventional stethoscopes used for screening have resulted in 28 percent false positives and 51 percent false negatives when used by non-specialists and health workers. While the ultrasound echocardiogram is a more accurate alternative, high equipment cost and low availability of trained medical professionals have limited its usage. 

HD Medical’s U.S. FDA-cleared HD Steth addresses this problem, providing a cost-effective, easy-to-use solution for non-specialists and primary healthcare workers. HD Steth was tested and validated through a clinical study involving 1,200 children, with 91 percent sensitivity and 99 percent specificity for detecting heart murmurs caused by CHDs compared to Ultrasound Echocardiograms as a gold standard at the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital at Raipur, Chhattisgarh State in Central India. 

Based on this study, HD Steth was  adopted in a large CHD screening program at their group hospitals and medical screening programs at multiple locations in India as follows:
   • Sai Sanjeevani Hospital at Palwal, Haryana: 12,974
   • Sai Sanjeevani Hospital at Kharghar, Maharashtra: 8,020
   • Sai Sanjeevani Hospital at Raipur, Chhattisgarh: 2,000
   • Sai Sanjeevani - Niraamaya Bastar initiative: 1,000
   • Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital, Chickaballapur, Karnataka: 19,650
   • Sai Arogya Vahini Trust Mobile Medical Clinics, Kolkata, West Bengal: 8,450
   • Total number of Children Screened: 52,094
   • Total number of Children Screened and confirmed with CHDs: 90+
   • Total number of Children Saved with Heart Surgeries: 36+ 

The Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani hospitals in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Haryana are India's largest providers of totally free pediatric heart procedures, performing nearly 14,000 surgeries and catheter interventions since 2012. “The centers stand committed to the investment in child health initiatives for a healthier nation in the future by offering quality healthcare provided totally free of cost," said C. Sreenivas, chairman of Sai Sanjeevani hospitals. “The HD Steth device from HD Medical is very helpful for screening children with CHD at an early stage so that a timely surgical intervention can be possible to save their lives. We have recently signed an MOU between the Chhattisgarh State Government and HD Medical to screen 77,000 children in Bastar, a remote tribal region. HD Steth makes it possible for healthcare workers to screen children for CHD and refer them for follow up care at our hospitals.”

“HD Steth is very easy to use by non-specialists with minimal training requirements for cardiac auscultation and as a screening tool. We started a program to screen over 100,000 children in Chickaballapur District in Karnataka State during October 2020 and so far have screened close to 20,000 children despite COVID-19” said Satish Babu, M.D., a leading endocrinologist trained at Cambridge University Hospital, King’s College Hospital and Cardiff University Hospital in U.K. and currently practicing at Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital, Muddenahalli near Bengaluru, Karnataka.

“We have also expanded the HD Steth screening program to countries such as Fiji, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Malaysia, and the U.S.” said Arvind Thiagarajan, founder and CEO of HD Medical. “These screenings will target 500,000 children within a year, demonstrating HD Medical’s commitment to the cause of saving children through early CHD screening with better technology.”

HD Medical Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based innovator of digital health solutions for AI-enabled detection and management of cardiovascular disease (CVD). HD Steth has been awarded FDA clearance (K201299). 

For more information: 

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