Stethoscope with social distancing feature developed to save more lives from COVID-19
The device was designed for distance auscultation, which ultimately minimizes a doctor’s risk of exposure to a possible COVID-19 positive patient.
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Stethoscope with social distancing feature developed to save more lives from COVID-19
(Philstar.com) - August 10, 2020 - 12:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sounds can tell stories and bring back memories.

Remember how Adele singing on full volume through your headphones eased your broken heart? And anyone who has ever been on a soul-searching, solo vacation at a beach knows how the sound of waves can calm the mind.  

But sound has a more practical use on the side of science. Scientists can use it to measure distance, for instance. Doctors use their stethoscope to listen to the sounds inside your body, so that they can make valid, medical diagnoses.  

Sound is a tool. 

This is the idea behind the Stemoscope, a trailblazing healthcare device that allows a user to detect a wide range of sounds. Think of it like a stethoscope, but a more compact, and handy version. 

The device, available in Lazada, which is no bigger than a stethoscope’s head (38 mm in diameter, 11 mm thick), can be used by doctors for distance auscultations. It transmits the sounds to a smartphone, which then processes, amplifies, and sends the sounds to the doctor’s Bluetooth earphones or wired earphones in real time.

While doctors still prefer to use the classic stethoscope, a Stemoscope can be a good supplement, most especially during this time of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that has claimed the lives of many.

“As doctors, we felt the urgent need to innovate. So many of our healthcare workers have lost their lives to the pandemic,” lamented Dr. Jastisse “Jast” Arnaldo T. Tejada III, a cardiologist and the General Manager of SGMC Medical Equipment Importer Marketing and Services, the company that brought the technology into the country.

“We needed to keep our doctors safe by improving the doctor’s primary weapon, the stethoscope, but without compromising the quality of care that we give our patients.”

The best thing about the device is that it’s designed for distance auscultation, which ultimately minimizes a doctor’s risk of exposure to a possible COVID-19 positive patient.

“Healthcare workers can now assess a patient from a safe distance of two meters,” said Dr. Jast. “Imagine the smallest stethoscope in the world with very huge features. It’s so compact you can put it inside your purse or pocket, like a Dr. James Bond!”

The nifty part is that the sounds that the app detects can be recorded and saved on your smartphone. This is especially useful for immunocompromised individuals who need to go to the hospital for regular checkups.

“Patients can send their recorded auscultations to their doctors via email, Viber or Messenger app, from anywhere in the Philippines. This way, they’re also helping stop the spread of COVID-19 because they’re staying right at home.” 

Likewise, the gadget is meant for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. A professor, for instance, may use it as an educational tool in subjects where auscultatory sounds are relevant. 

Durable and lightweight, the device can also be used to record important moments for posterity: The sound of your baby’s heartbeat while you’re pregnant, your awesome heart rate after an hour of an intense workout, or your pet’s heartbeat. You can even use it to listen to the sound of a tree “drinking” water—if you’re curious like that. 

Numerous local physicians have given the device their seal of approval, including doctors who have been directly dealing with COVID-19 positive patients at the Philippine General Hospital. 

But the best, most heart-warming feedback, according to Dr. Jast, came from one of his patients. 

“He told me, ‘Hi Doc Jast. Thank you... Big for us, kasi lahat po kami dito may hika. We can now easily update our doctors without going out of the house specially at this time of pandemic.’ 

“I’m glad that this gadget is making a huge difference in people’s lives.”

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