Hearing everything in a heartbeat: patient or iPod

Denver 17 March 2006Following recent studies showing the value of electronic stethoscopes in medical education, Thinklabs is planning broad distribution of the Thinklabs ds32a Digital Electronic Stethoscope. With best-in-class audio quality, Thinklabs stethoscopes represent a breakthrough in clinical listening performance.


A recent study, presented at the American College of Cardiology conference in Atlanta, showed that repetitive listening to electronic heart sound recordings increased medical student diagnostic skills significantly. In a related study, students used iPods to listen to heart sounds and increased recognition skills from 30 percent to 80 percent.

Thinklabs patented sensor technology provides loud and clear heart and lung sounds without modifying or distorting what doctors are trained to hear. Thinklabs stethoscopes are also unique in their ability to connect easily to an iPod and provide improved sound quality suited to learning heart sounds.

"Plug an iPod into a Thinklabs stethoscope, and you will hear low frequency bass signals you didn't know were there, sounds that cannot be heard with standard headphones", stated Clive Smith, developer of Thinklabs' proprietary technology. "It is this low frequency content that is so critical to hearing pathological heart sounds. By using a Thinklabs ds32a and an iPod, recordings can be reproduced as accurately as if the patient were being examined directly. We intentionally designed the connection for this type of recording and playback, and our expectations have been vindicated by these studies."

Combining patented sensor technology with robotics-based manufacturing, Thinklabs is able to offer electronic stethoscopes at a price point competitive with conventional stethoscopes, providing the rare combination of improved clinical utility without increased cost.

The ds32a includes modes for adjusting sound characteristics to suit various patients and environments. Amplification and Volume adjustments facilitate examination of the increasingly obese patient population whose heart and lung sounds are more difficult to detect. Ambient Noise Rejection can be activated in noisy emergency rooms or critical care units. The ds32a is designed for use by physicians and nurses in both general practice and medical sub-specialities, office-based and hospital-based medicine.

"For the past 2 years, we marketed Thinklabs stethoscopes on a boutique basis at medical conferences. This provided invaluable feedback from clinical users, and allowed us to meet with thousands of customers", stated Clive Smith. "Now that we know that we have met the demands of critical users who have responded so positively to our product, we are ready to increase availability. Distribution will expand during 2006, so that customers will be able to purchase Thinklabs stethoscopes from their favourite distributors across the United States."

Thinklabs specializes in the development of electronic stethoscopes, and related medical technologies. It has conducted research in this area for ten years, and holds patents in body sound sensing.

Leslie Versweyveld

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