Digital stethoscopes: A Beginning
What if the traditional stethoscope could be improved? If the sounds of a healthy body's internal processes could be removed, and only the crud remained, cleared up for the benefit of the doctor?
Sound like a pipe dream? Maybe it was, once. These days, it's the continuing work of one man, to bring into being.
Strathclyde bioengineer Richard Boyle is developing a dual-probe digital stethoscope that turns down the volume of the normal sounds of the heart, and only the normal sounds, allowing doctors to listen for abnormal murmurs that occur when the heart valves aren't opening and closing properly.
It's a first step towards a total auscultation editing process in real-time, that offers the potential to recognise, and process in real-time, all internal body sounds.
Richard Boyle had the following to say, about his plans for his invention:
The device is being developed in conjunction with the Strathclyde Institute of Medical Devices based at the Department of Bioengineering, and the Centre for Excellence in Signal and Image Processing in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.
It will be used on patients in several Glasgow hospitals, before the end of 2009.