Traditional variations have been around since the Civil War, but modern medical workers have been working on a new version of this instrument for the past few decades.
In 2004, students from Cornell put together a project that implemented a digital procedure to display a patient’s heartbeat on a television screen. The process has evolved since then, and developers have taken such ideas very seriously.
Engineers and software developers have been teaming together to create digital instruments. This digital instrument works like the traditional variation, but it’s an electronic tool that amplifies sound more than its ancestor. The goal of using this digital stethoscope is to have better audio of the sounds within the body and minimizing external sounds.
How Does It Work?
The digital instrument amplifies sound from within the body through one or more methods. According to the National Telehealth Technology Resource Centre, the simplest type of electronic instrument uses a microphone to enhance the sounds occurring within a patient’s body.
However, a more complex version will use transducers, and even more advanced versions will use a piezoelectric crystal. Other manufacturers replace the crystal with electromagnetic parts. Both types of machinery are attached to a diaphragm.
The diaphragms of traditional and digital stethoscopes are identical, but digital variations have a built-in relay system that sends data to an external source. For example, an application available for Apple devices, called Eko, may be purchased through the App Store.
It gives the user the ability to synchronize a digital instrument in order to record, Livestream, and share the data obtained through medical procedures.
How Are These Advancements Changing Healthcare?
The sound quality of electronic instruments differs from their acoustic ancestors, so some medical practitioners have trouble adjusting to the new variation. However, its ability to record data is an entirely different matter that medical professionals should not take for granted.
A paper found within the archives of the National Centre for Biotechnology Information examines vital signs of patients that have been recorded with digital instruments in order to reveal new information about cardiac disorders. This demonstrates how digital variation may be used to gather data from patients in order to treat disorders over a long period of time.
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Living with the Future of Modern Medicine
The traditional means of assessing a patient’s well-being were incredibly useful, and those methods should still be taught to medical professionals, but the technology has evolved to assist in obtaining better readings.
These digital tools provide accurate reading without needing to be calibrated, and they are easier to use. This is another great tool that every medical professional should have in their toolbox. Every serious medical professional should be taking advantage of the wonderful opportunity that modern technology has presented.
By working with the needs of the medical community in mind, software developers and engineers have combined their knowledge and skills to present this digital instrument that works along with an app on your smartphone.