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Fujitsu : and University of Tokyo Hospital Embark on Joint Research into AI to Aid the Fight Against Heart Disease

10/10/2021 | 10:12pm EST

TOKYO, Oct 11, 2021 - (JCN Newswire) - - Fujitsu Limited today announced that it has started joint clinical research with the University of Tokyo Hospital to verify the effectiveness of artificial intelligence technology to estimate abnormal heart movements based on electrocardiogram(1) data. The research is planned to commence at the University of Tokyo Hospital from October 25.

Since December 2019, Fujitsu has been making progress with research and development of proprietary AI technology(2) in collaboration with the University of Tokyo Hospital. This research draws on data from patients that have visited the University of Tokyo Hospital to date and includes approximately 630,000 pieces of electrocardiographic data and data from approximately 140,000 cardiac ultrasounds (echocardiography)(3). This initiative has now succeeded in detecting patients with abnormal heart movements with high accuracy.

The AI will be used in clinical field research to estimate the presence or absence of abnormal heart movements based on the data of patients undergoing electrocardiographic procedures at the University of Tokyo Hospital. Patients identified by the AI as having abnormal heart movements will undergo echocardiography, and the effectiveness will be verified by comparing the results of doctors' diagnosis with the results predicted by the AI. Fujitsu will leverage this AI to detect heart disease at an early stage to prevent progression to serious illness in patients and strengthen its vision of "Healthy Living", promoting well-being for people throughout society.

This initiative will be introduced at Fujitsu ActivateNow 2021, a global event to be held from October 12 in online format.


Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Japan (4), and electrocardiography, which detects abnormalities in the heart muscle and irregular pulses based on the waveform of electrical pulses in the heart, is widely used as a diagnostic tool to detect heart disease at an early stage. It remains difficult, however, to detect abnormalities in the shape and movement of the heart using only electrocardiograms. In medical practice, in addition to electrocardiography, doctors use a stethoscope to detect abnormal heart sounds (murmurs, arrythmia, etc.) based on the patient's description of their symptoms, followed by echocardiography to detect abnormalities in heart shape and movement. However, because echocardiographic diagnostics can only be performed in a limited number of facilities with specialized doctors and laboratory technicians, it is difficult to offer this for all patients. This makes early detection difficult, and when problems are detected, the progression of the disease may already be advanced. In the treatment of heart disease, early detection and appropriate treatment are a vital issue in medical practice.

Since December 2019, in collaboration with a research group headed by Dr. Katsuhito Fujiu, Project Associate Professor, and Dr. Issei Komuro, Professor in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Tokyo Hospital, Fujitsu has been engaged in research and development utilizing AI to detect heart disease from electrocardiogram data, leveraging Fujitsu's proprietary waveform analysis technology, TDA (topological data analysis) (5). Going forward, Fujitsu will work to verify the effectiveness of AI in actual medical practice to estimate the presence or absence of abnormalities in cardiac function from electrocardiogram data, and will start clinical research at the University of Tokyo Hospital.

Clinical Research Overview

Based on the electrocardiogram data of patients examined at the University of Tokyo Hospital, Fujitsu and the University of Tokyo Hospital will verify the effectiveness of detection of abnormal heart movement by AI.

1. Duration

From October 25, 2021 (Monday) to March 31, 2022 (Thursday) (Planned)

2. Location

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, the University of Tokyo Hospital

3. Clinical Research Activity: testing artificial intelligence to estimate abnormal heart movements

Fujitsu will install a server equipped with AI to detect abnormalities in heart movement at the University of Tokyo Hospital and connect it to a server that stores electrocardiogram data, analyze the patient's electrocardiogram, and estimate the presence or absence of abnormal heart movements. Echocardiography is performed on patients the AI predicts to have abnormal heart movements, and doctors determine whether heart disease is present.

4. Division of roles

Fujitsu: Install and operate AI-powered servers

The University of Tokyo Hospital: Input of the patient's electrocardiogram data into the AI, echocardiography if the AI suspects an abnormality, and testing the effectiveness of the AI based on the results.

Future Plans

Based on the results of this clinical research, Fujitsu will promote research and development of solutions that can detect abnormalities in heart motion at an early stage and contribute to the prevention of progression to serious heart disease in patients. Through its joint research with the University of Tokyo Hospital, Fujitsu will continue to actively promote research and development of AI to detect various heart diseases. Ultimately, by working to leverage the results of these efforts to contribute to the resolution of medical problems confronting society, Fujitsu will help deliver greater trust and well-being to society, and drive the development of technologies and services that promote its vision of "Healthy Living".

(1) Electrocardiogram:

A record of changes in the electrical potential of the heart.

(2) Research and development on their unique AI:

Conducted in accordance with the University of Tokyo Hospital Code of Ethics.

(3) Echocardiography:

An ultrasound scan of the chest that analyzes and images the reflected waves to check the heart's mechanical functions, including movement and shape.

(4) The second leading cause of death in Japan:

From the report of "Summary of Vital Statistics" (the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare).

(5) TDA (Topological Data Analysis):

A data analysis method that treats data as a set of points arranged in a space and extracts geometric information of the set.

Fujitsu's Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 represent a set of common goals to be achieved worldwide by 2030. Fujitsu's purpose -- "to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation"--is a promise to contribute to the vision of a better future empowered by the SDGs.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 126,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.6 trillion yen (US$34 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.

Copyright 2021 JCN Newswire . All rights reserved.

© Japan Corporate News, source JCN Press Releases

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