A trip to the doctor would not be complete without a cold stethoscope on your warm chest. But soon you may be able to skip that step and stay home.
One of the most important tools for physicians in diagnosing and tracking lung disease is the simple stethoscope. It is essentially a tube that lets the doctor listen to breath sounds. With the move towards telehealth and remote patient monitoring, however, we need new tools to monitor patients when away from the clinical setting. A new smart patch puts a digital stethoscope in a tiny package that you can stick to your chest. Along with respiration and heart rate, it digitizes the sounds so that they can be recorded and shared with healthcare professionals. It also can detect wheezes and coughs, and can log these events. The device can run for 10 hours before it needs to be recharged. The patch is waiting for FDA clearance, at which point the company hopes to make it available in the U.S.