A partnership between digital healthcare platform Lenus Health and med-tech start-up Us2.ai is helping improve access for patients to echocardiograms, speeding up waiting times for vital heart failure diagnostics in the NHS.

The two companies have created a one-stop digital heart failure diagnosis service that supports health professionals to deliver echo and ECG diagnostic testing in community settings.

In addition, the service is also allowing consultant cardiologists to review data in a single dashboard and consultants can record the diagnostic outcome without needing to schedule an appointment for the patient.

The agreement will see Us2.ai’s CE marked echocardiogram viewing and measurement tools be operationalised within the Lenus platform.

James Hare, co-founder of and CEO at Us2.ai, said: “Us2.ai democratises access to echo, processing complete echo reports, with zero clicks, in under two minutes.

“We’re working hard to automate the fight against heart disease, and make long echo wait times, human variability, and missed diagnoses a thing of the past.”

The digital service aims to tackle the issue of backlogs in heart diagnostic services in the NHS, which have been worsened by the impact of the Covid pandemic.

A pilot of the Lenus Heart Failure Diagnostic service at NHS Louisa Jordan, found that the wait time for heart failure diagnostic tests was reduced from over 12 months to just six weeks.

Lenus’ platform is also being used in the Optimised Pathway for Early Identification of Heart Failure in the Community (OPERA) study, an examination of digital and AI techniques to improve access to such diagnostic services in Scotland.

As part of the study, patients are able to attend a single clinic appointment and undergo a range of heart diagnostic tests. Full results of the OPERA study are expected early next year.

Paul McGinness, Lenus CEO, said: “In the OPERA project, we saw how the echo AI-assisted report developed by Us2.ai could be used to further improve heart failure diagnostic efficiency.

“There is tremendous opportunity to bring advances like Us2.ai that use AI to improve access to care and reduce waiting times for tests which can now be done safely in the community rather than specialist settings.

“By delivering tech-enabled diagnosis and management of long-term conditions like heart failure and COPD, Lenus Health is well placed to operationalise leading AI tools and create a paradigm shift in care that takes it out of acute settings and puts healthier patients back in their communities.”