A comprehensive artificial intelligence–enabled electrocardiogram interpretation program

Anthony H. Kashou, Wei Yin Ko, Zachi I. Attia, Michal S. Cohen, Paul A. Friedman, Peter A. Noseworthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Automated computerized electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation algorithms are designed to enhance physician ECG interpretation, minimize medical error, and expedite clinical workflow. However, the performance of current computer algorithms is notoriously inconsistent. We aimed to develop and validate an artificial intelligence–enabled ECG (AI-ECG) algorithm capable of comprehensive 12-lead ECG interpretation with accuracy comparable to practicing cardiologists. Methods: We developed an AI-ECG algorithm using a convolutional neural network as a multilabel classifier capable of assessing 66 discrete, structured diagnostic ECG codes using the cardiologist's final annotation as the gold-standard interpretation. We included 2,499,522 ECGs from 720,978 patients ≥18 years of age with a standard 12-lead ECG obtained at the Mayo Clinic ECG laboratory between 1993 and 2017. The total sample was randomly divided into training (n = 1,749,654), validation (n = 249,951), and testing (n = 499,917) datasets with a similar distribution of codes. We compared the AI-ECG algorithm's performance to the cardiologist's interpretation in the testing dataset using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and precision recall (PR) curves. Results: The model performed well for various rhythm, conduction, ischemia, waveform morphology, and secondary diagnoses codes with an area under the ROC curve of ≥0.98 for 62 of the 66 codes. PR metrics were used to assess model performance accounting for category imbalance and demonstrated a sensitivity ≥95% for all codes. Conclusions: An AI-ECG algorithm demonstrates high diagnostic performance in comparison to reference cardiologist interpretation of a standard 12-lead ECG. The use of AI-ECG reading tools may permit scalability as ECG acquisition becomes more ubiquitous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular Digital Health Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Convolutional neural network
  • Deep learning
  • ECG
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Electrocardiography
  • Machine learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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