CORE scores again. We’ve written about the Eko CORE AI-powered digital stethoscope several times, starting in 2015 when the FDA cleared the device for use. More recently, Eko and the Mayo Clinic announced a collaboration in late 2018 to co-develop AI algorithms to detect low ejection rate, an indication of heart failure.

Eko is back in the news with its second generation of the CORE product line. The new CORE platform includes greater amplification power than earlier models and adds active noise cancellation. “When heart and lung sounds are amplified in the screening of heart valve and pulmonary diseases, everything changes,” Eko co-founder and CEO Connor Landgraf said.

The AI-powered decision support algorithms remain a work in progress, but the new model’s sleeker design and noise cancellation enable doctors and nurses to hear the sounds of hearts and lungs more clearly with less interference from background ambient noise.

The new CORE Digital Stethoscope and CORE Digital Attachment for conventional stethoscopes will cost $249 and $199, respectively. Features include 40x sound amplification with seven volume settings, Lithium-ion battery power with micro-USB charging and 10-hour battery life, Bluetooth connectivity to Eko software, and simple toggling between acoustic and digital modes.

The new Eko software saves various lengths of sound recordings from 15 to 120 seconds and can display sound wave forms and phonocardiograms. AI screening algorithms developed to analyze pathologic heart murmurs and valvular heart disease are still in development and will need FDA approval.

In a news release to announce the second-generation CORE technology, Eko stated that clinicians at more than 4,000 hospitals have used the initial version. When the AI algorithms are ready, physicians worldwide will have access to a tool based on the learnings and experiences of expert cardiologists.