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February is American Heart Month. This year, Cleveland Clinic conducted a Heart Health Survey to look at how Americans are using technology to improve their heart health and how they feel about the emerging role of artificial intelligence (AI) in heart care. Dr. Ashish Sarraju, a cardiologist in the department of preventive cardiology, summarizes the findings and highlights the importance that health technology should be used together with your doctor's advice.

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Heart Month 2024: Are Americans using Health Technology for Heart Health?

Podcast Transcript


Welcome to Love Your Heart, brought to you by Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. These podcasts will help you learn more about your heart, thoracic and vascular systems, ways to stay healthy and information about diseases and treatment options. Enjoy!

Ashish Sarraju, MD:

Hello everybody. My name is Dr. Ashish Sarraju. I'm a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. February is American Heart Month and Cleveland Clinic performed a heart health survey in 2024 to examine how Americans are using technology to improve their heart health.

Now, artificial intelligence and health technologies are new concepts, but artificial intelligence, or AI, is essentially an attempt to simulate human intelligence using computer algorithms and machines. Health technologies could include artificial intelligence, but they include things like wearables and smartwatches that folks can use to track things at home. So in this survey, we found that 50% of Americans surveyed used at least one type of technology to monitor their health with the daily step count being the most tracked health related metric, followed by their heart rate and their calories. The survey also found that most Americans who use health technologies say that they're experiencing physical and mental benefits from using the technology with four in five users saying that they've noticed positive changes to their physical and mental health.

The survey also found that when it comes to AI, or artificial intelligence, that three in five Americans believe that it will lead to better heart care. However, most people still say that they would seek a doctor's advice before acting on recommendations from an AI technology. So overall, this survey found that Americans are optimistic in using health technologies and optimistic about AI. But I would encourage my patients to use technology to support their health and to be more mindful of their daily activities. Ultimately, remember that both wearable technology and AI, if it enters our care pathways, should be used to strengthen and compliment doctor's care and the patient-doctor relationship, but they are not meant to completely replace that relationship.

Now, it's also important to remember that it can be easy to become obsessed with the health data that a wearable technology may provide, which can negatively affect someone's mental health, like checking the data multiple times a day or pushing yourself too hard to meet a specific goal. So it's important to remember to use these technologies to empower your own care of yourself and to track important metrics and to work with the medical provider so that it's being used in the correct manner. For example, things like getting enough physical activity, ensuring that your weight is healthy, that the diet is good, that sleep is high quality. These are all things that could potentially be tracked with wearable technology and could form part of a good care plan in discussion with your provider. And indeed, many of those surveyed found that the monitoring technology helped them find motivation or accountability for achieving things like daily activity goals, which again form an important part of your heart care.

Overall, here at the Cleveland Clinic, we are using and looking forward to using AI technology in a variety of ways in heart care, and many of these are being researched. For example, incorporating AI into MRI, scanning and reporting, developing AI models to help improve diagnosis or help predict response to certain treatments when it comes to heart care. These are all things that we want to study to see if AI can help us take better care of our patients.


Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed the podcast. We welcome your comments and feedback. Please contact us at heart@ccf.org. Like what you heard, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, or listen at clevelandclinic.org/loveyourheartpodcast.

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Love Your Heart

A Cleveland Clinic podcast to help you learn more about heart and vascular disease and conditions affecting your chest. We explore prevention, diagnostic tests, medical and surgical treatments, new innovations and more. 

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