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New Digital Stethoscope Could Bring Cardiologists and Patients Closer Together

22/09/2015

New Digital Stethoscope Could Bring Cardiologists and Patients Closer TogetherIt was just under 200 years ago that a French physician named Rene Laenneac held a cylinder containing a rolled up piece of paper to a patient’s chest so that he could hear their heartbeat more clearly. It may have been a crude device, but it worked and the modern stethoscope was born.

Even today the stethoscope remains a common instrument in a medical practitioner’s bag and it’s become synonymous with doctors the world over.

But despite its essential role, the stethoscope has changed much over the years. Until now…

That’s because Eko Devices, a Silicon Valley startup, has received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration for its digital stethoscope. It’s a perfect example of how an age-old instrument can be given a new lease of life with the help of modern technology.

Called the Eko Core, the digital stethoscope monitors a patient’s heartbeat and sends the results to an iPhone application. The data can then be stored in a cloud-based environment for medical professionals to access at a later date.

Not only will it allow them to gain a better understanding of the human heart, but it could also lead to high quality care being provided at a much lower cost.

Jason Bellet, the chief operating officer at Eko Devices, said:"If we can bring the expert cardiologists from Johns Hopkins to the patient in rural Nebraska or the rural village in India, that opens up the opportunity to save lives.”

Traditionally, cardiologists have needed to be close to patients to hear their heartbeats. With the Eko Core, however, cardiologists can gain access to the sounds made by a patient’s heart even if the two of them are miles apart.

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Photo via: Wikipedia
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