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Stethoscope Interface for the iPhone
Ideated February 12th, 2011
Doctors would love to be able to connect classic stethoscopes to their iPhones/smartphones. Along with being able to record patient's vital signs, they would be able to discover patterns with the software that they may not hear naturally. Also, despite the instrument's simplicity, it takes years for a doctor to master a stethoscope's use. The app on the phone could also serve as a tutorial for using the instrument -- making the learning curve less steep.

Two solutions in this space already exist:
  • The Digital Stethoscope by Thinklabs -- requires a specialized stethoscope instrument that can be interfaced with an iPhone app. The instrument costs $230 by itself and the entire package costs $600 (instrument interface app). In comparison, a classic stethoscope costs around $100. 
  • The iStethoscope iPhone App -- this app turns the iPhone itself into a stethoscope. Doctors are expected to touch their phones (microphones at the bottom) to the patient's body and take readings. Further, it is not recommended to use the classic white iPod headphones with this app -- buying better headphones will increase the overhead cost. It also takes a lot of practice for a doctor to use this app correctly. 
The limitations of these solutions are quite apparent. It makes much more sense to interface the relatively inexpensive, classic stethoscope, with the iphone using an external attachement. The attachment will essentially be an amplifier -- should not cost too much to build one of those.
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Expertise Wanted: Industrial Design
Medicine
Product Design
Software Engineering

Ideated By

Madhav Krishna Madhav Krishna
New York, New York
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