Medtronic has tapped Milwaukee-based Mpirik to help launch its pilot program that uses artificial intelligence to screen health care data for patients who may be at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. The goal of the pilot program is to connect patients with potentially lifesaving medical devices before sudden cardiac arrest occurs. The initiative also aims to address disparities in cardiac care across gender and race. According to Medtronic, women and men of color, along with white women, receive medical devices like cardioverter-defibrillators at lower rates than white men. Medtronic-sponsored research also suggests that patients who are medically indicated for implantable heart devices often do not receive them. "Ensuring adherence to a care pathway, assessing personalized disease progression and screening potential cardiac disease, without differentiation for gender or race, are complex issues that our machine learning and natural language processing help to solve,” Mpirk CEO Logan Brigman said in a statement. Medtronic's pilot program, in collaboration with AI developer Mpirik and health care performance tracking company Vizient Inc., will launch at five hospitals, including three Vizient member hospitals, according to a Monday announcement. In partnership with Medtronic, Mpirk will provide an automated alert through the electronic health systems of pilot program hospitals, enabling clinicians to determine appropriate follow-up care. By leveraging AI, the pilot program creates an innovative and scalable method to identify at-risk patients, provide earlier intervention and reduce potential disparities in care, said Kweli Thompson, a general manager of Medtronic’s Cardiac Rhythm management business. "This exciting technology provides the ability to improve care pathways, digitize population health management and collect a robust set of data to leverage for publications," Thompson said in a statement.