Voorburgs Dagblad | Haga Hospital and Google work together to predict heart disease

The Haga Hospital in The Hague and Google have recently started working together to predict heart disease. The Device Connect for Fitbit application is used for this.

“I often only see patients with a heart rhythm disorder or heart failure when there are already many complaints. I prefer to track down a patient before the complaints arise,” says cardiologist Ivo van der Bilt of the Haga Hospital. “That is possible with Artificial intelligence, or artificial intelligence. This makes it possible to detect a disease early on the basis of data analyses.”

In collaboration with TU Delft, Van der Bilt uses smartwatches that, with the help of algorithms, recognize patterns that indicate diseases. The partnership with Google Cloud will enable him to conduct new research on a larger scale into early identification and prevention of vascular disease.

Preventive care

“With digital means, such as the Fitbit Charge 5 in this case, a lot of data can be collected,” explains Van der Bilt. “You can draw conclusions from this. For example: can patterns be discovered that certain patient groups have in common? And does a deviant, recurring pattern belong to a heart rhythm disorder or is there a case of heart failure? If you can predict that, even before someone has complaints at all , you can investigate this further and already provide preventive care, which prevents such a person from developing many complaints or even a life-threatening vascular disorder.”

The Haga Hospital is one of the first hospitals to use the Google Cloud application Device Connect for Fitbit, says Van der Bilt. “We really need such a large player to be able to make significant strides. Google Cloud’s data platform has an enormous reach. With data analysis and artificial intelligence, we can now conduct research on a much larger scale. With this new solution, It’s easier than ever to gain even better insight into disease patterns.” Google’s European partner Omnigen helps Van der Bilt set up the cloud platform and analyze data.

Health gain

Van der Bilt thinks it’s great that you can put people in charge of this health check. They wear the Fitbit smartwatch. “In the event of an abnormal result, we can perform additional tests to find or rule out an abnormality. Health is a great asset. You realize this all the more when you are struck down by a disease. If you can prevent this or be able to catch it in time, the disease can be treated well. That provides a lot of health benefits.”

Van der Bilt hopes to use the research that has now started to inspire other specialists to use artificial intelligence to detect disorders. Participation in the study is voluntary. In addition, various security techniques are used, which have been inventoried using a risk analysis. One of those measures is the encryption of personal data. “Only the practitioners know the names of the pseudonyms used. Of course we take the privacy rules very seriously. The database meets the highest standards for security and legislation and regulations,” says Van der Bilt.

By: Haga Hospital | Photo: Haga Hospital

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