The stethoscope is usually used for cardiac and respiratory sounds auscultation, although it is sometimes also used to determine bowel sounds or blows by blood flow in arteries and veins. Its usefulness has led it to be one of the main tools for physicians and healthcare professionals. As few utensils, it offers the doctor a great diagnostic capability to various pathologies of the patient.
The smart electronic stethoscope is a breakthrough in the current medicine propitiated by the integration of new technologies. After two centuries since the invention of the stethoscope, the Spanish company eKuore Mobile Health Devices has been a pioneer in placing in the field of ‘telemedicine‘ an innovative digital stethoscope. Its innovation lies in both, device and software that incorporates its own app, making this an intelligent tool.
The skills of this simple and effective device led the stethoscope to keep in force linked to the medicine. On the basis of a rudimentary ‘cylinder of wood’ of 30 centimeter when it was invented in 1816 by the French Doctor René Laënnec, which allowed to leave immediate auscultation technique (to put the ear directly in the patient’s body).
The creation of the stethoscope was half-century breakthrough in exploration and description of certain diseases. It pointed its differentiation and diagnosis. Thanks to Laënnec invention and the publication of his work in 1819: “On Mediate Auscultation or Treatise on the Diagnosis of the Diseases of the Lungs and Heart based mainly on this new exploration way”
Iconic instrument- The stethoscope
Since then the stethoscope has evolved gradually to derive in the classical model that has accompanied the current generations in their visits to the doctor. A gadget consisting of a chestpiece with a sensitive membrane attached, bound with a rubber tube which runs the sound into two ducts with eartips at the top that facilitate the coupling in the ears and isolate external sound.
Its use is so common, by different specialists and medical and health disciplines, that the stethoscope has become an iconic figure of the medicine. With the white coat, it is able to characterize, in the universal collective, by itself to a professional of the health’s field.
Currently, the different stethoscope can play a complementary role. In the market are:
#1 Flexible Bi-earphones (classic):
It is composed by a chest piece made of steel, which are often the ones with the best acoustics. A binaural (rubber tube), is an important piece. Depending on its thickness it will isolate the sound from auscultation better or worse. Finally, the metallic arc and the eartips, fit and fix in the ear as well as isolate external sounds.
The stethoscope is used to listen to the patient in the cardiac, lung and abdominal level, to explore, among others: blows, blood pressure, appearance of roncus, crackles, peristaltic noises, etc.
There is a wide range which includes different models. Most of them respond to the quality of the materials and composition. But its typology and use are segmented depending on the patient submitted to the auscultation.
The main difference of the stethoscope comes determined by its Chest-piece:
Stethoscope for adults: has a big chest piece.
Pediatric stethoscope: has a medium size chest piece.
Intant stethoscope: small size chest piece.
Also, the more sophisticated stethoscope models have a double chest piece. It maintains different diameters in each side. Moreover, some of them have a simple membrane and others have a dual-frecuency membrane.
#2 Electronic stethoscope:
The eKuore-Pro electronic stethoscope is an avant-garde initiative in the exploration and auscultation of the patients. The smart electronic stethoscope is the evolution of his predecessor and provides numerous professional features aimed to improve diagnosis and treatment. This device of easy handling, allows:
- A further amplification of the sound.
- Recording of the auscultation in real time.
- Sharing the auscultation through document of audio with other professionals.
- Exchanging chest piece (for adult, pediatric and neonatal use).
- Simultaneous listening to live auscultation.
- Putting cardiac and pulmonary filters.
- Viewing the phonocardiogram.
Each of these stethoscope properties provides numerous advantages to take a more objective and effective patient monitoring:
- Follow-up of the patient and comparison with precision of the results throughout the process care.
- Present the test in the clinical sessions.
- Include the recording in the electronic history.
- Objectify the determination of the diagnostics.
#3 Obstetric stethoscope (Pinard’s Stethoscope):
It is rigid and bell-shaped so that its great chest piece can provide a good acoustic that makes it the most useful instrument to listen the heart tone of the embryo in the maternal breast, yet from the 18th week. On the other hand, because of its stiffness it forces the doctor to adopt uncomfortable stances for its correct use.
In conclusion, the stethoscope is an indispensable tool in any healthcare professional practice. It has been evolving throughout history, incorporating the technical improvements of the moment before reaching the intelligent digital stethoscope eKuore-Pro, which introduces the device in the medicine of the 21st century and responds to the concerns of professionals in the introduction of the improving techniques for the patient care.
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