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Will These Technologies Replace Stethoscopes?


The stethoscope, worn around the neck with pride by many healthcare providers, is an essential tool used to assess the heart and lungs.  Technology is advancing in all areas of healthcare and medicine, could technology replace the beloved stethoscope?

Electronic stethoscopes are being used to collect electrical signals from a patient’s chest through a small probe and convert them into sound waves which are amplified for easier listening.  Most of these devices can connect to a tablet or smartphone to collect and track data.

The Eko Digital Stethoscope created by Eko Devices in California is working on implementing artificial intelligence in this device which looks like a traditional stethoscope with a little something extra. By using recordings of thousands of heartbeats algorithms are created that can let a healthcare provider know if heart sounds are normal or if there is an abnormality present, such as a murmur.

Thinklabs One has a device the size of a palm that amplifies sounds and can be fine-tuned with audio filters to tune in to heart murmurs and lung sounds.  Simply, connect a pair of headphones and this device can also be connected to tablets and smartphones to display audio as visual waveforms.

To read more about these devices and other similar technologies, check out Taleena Nadkarni’s article “7 High-Tech Products Slowly Replacing the Stethoscope” from Florence Health here.