A significant number or our clients at Central Comm. happen to be doctors. One of the most recognized devices of all the ones that doctor’s commonly use is that trusty stethoscope. It was invented in 1816 by a Rene Laennec and it was a pretty rudimentary piece of equipment, just a tube of rolled paper. In the 1850’s George P Cammann developed the modern precursor to today’s stethoscope which had an earpiece for each ear. It stayed pretty much the same until the 1960’s and Dr. David Littmann who was a highly regarded cardiologist patented a new, more advanced stethoscope which had more sophisticated acoustical performance.
Today, however, stethoscopes are becoming ever more powerful with the ability of the device to eliminate outside noises, with implanted Bluetooth technology and the ability to communicate with smart applications. From CNN.com:
By Sara Ashley O’Brien @saraashleyo
Part of CNNMoney’s Upstart 30, the company developed a device that turns “normal” stethoscopes into intelligent ones. By inserting the Eko Core into the tubing of a traditional device, doctors can take digital recordings of patient heartbeats using Bluetooth technology. The recordings are wirelessly transmitted to Eko’s HIPAA-compliant smart phone app and web portal.
Using the $199 device, which goes on sale Wednesday, doctors can chart the heartbeat or send the recording to a specialist for further review. That means patients won’t have to wait to see a specialist for the results. Eko will also be selling a smart stethoscope for doctors who prefer to abandon their analog devices entirely, which will go for $299.
“It’s the first time the oldest and newest tools in medical toolkit are being married,” said 23-year-old Jason Bellet, cofounder of Eko Devices. “We can track [heartbeats] over time — from childhood to adulthood.”
Bellet acknowledges that it’s not the first smart stethoscope out there, but Eko is the first to connect to a smart phone and wirelessly transfer a heart recording.”
While much of the medical field has gone digital, it’s been a slow transition for the nearly 200-year-old stethoscope.
“It has been stuck in the analog world,” said Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Charanjit S. Rihal. “With heart sounds, even if you’re good at examining patients … then what? It’s in our heads, we make diagrams, but a year later, do [doctors] really remember what you heard? The answer is they cannot.”