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Artificial intelligence to aid emergency dispatchers in Europe

An AI system called Corti listens in on distress calls for signs of a heart attack and feeds info to human dispatchers. It's headed for wider testing later this year.

Medical call center in France

A medical call center in France. The European Emergency Number Association is expanding tests of an AI system that can help spot a heart attack.

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An AI tool that helps emergency call dispatchers detect a heart attack situation is set for wider testing in Europe.

The Corti digital assistant, made by a company of the same name based in Copenhagen, Denmark, listens in on emergency calls and picks up on cues like breathing patterns, tone of voice and background noises to provide dispatchers with recommendations in real time.

Corti is accurate in up to 95 percent of cases, according to the European Emergency Number Association, a Brussels-based nongovernmental organization devoted to improving Europe's emergency services, like its 112 distress call system.

EENA said on Wednesday that it's teamed with Corti's creator to bring the system to four new sites throughout Europe for testing. Impressive results in Copenhagen, where Corti is already on the job, led to the expanded tests, which will take place from September 2018 to April 2019.

"The project has the potential to save thousands of lives and change forever the way emergency medical calls are handled," EENA said in a press release. "Used in conjunction with human call-takers and dispatchers, [Corti] can significantly reduce error rates and make critical diagnoses faster."

Health care practitioners are increasingly examining the potential of AI, from predicting heart disease risk using eye scans to assisting patients by way of AI-equipped smart speakers in hospital rooms. In a study published last year, Stanford researchers were able to train a deep learning algorithm to diagnose skin cancer.

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