Mumbai: IIT-B researchers develop steth that can filter noises

Mumbai: The two researchers, Adarsha K and Tapas Pandey, and one Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of Biomedical Engineering and Technology incubation Centre (BETiC) at IIT Bombay Dr Rupesh Ghyar have developed a device which can be attached to conventional stethoscope to enable it noise filtering, sound amplification, recording and playback and visual representation of heart and lung sounds.

“Heart and lung diseases have become the top causes of death in India and require effective auscultation (listening to chest sounds) for correct diagnosis. Conventional stethoscopes used by doctors require considerable training and concentration to identify the relevant sound patterns, especially in noisy environment,” said one of the researchers Adarsha K, who is the CEO and co-founder of Ayu Devices Pvt. Ltd.

The device can be used in primary healthcare centres to record abnormal sounds, which can be sent to expert physicians for further diagnosis. The digital stethoscope at present is being used by Dr. Nambiraj Konar, consultant anesthesiology at Reliance Hospital. Dr. Konar said the device is very much useful for every medical practitioner including interns and seasoned doctors.

“With the help of this device, one can clearly listen to auscultation of heart and lung sound. This device is very much helpful for Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers in rural areas which lack expert medical doctors. So they can record the abnormal sounds of heart and lung, and send it to expert physicians for further diagnosis,” said Dr. Konar.
This can overcome the problem of low ratio of physicians to number of people in India. The auscultated sounds can be included in the medical records of patients. Their repository will enable rapid learning curve for medical students.

The respirologist at PD Hinduja Hospital, Dr. Lancelot Pinto, said, “The device has an ability to dampen the surrounding noise. So if you are auscultating at crowded place, this device is very much useful for doctors to diagnose even the minor disease of heart and lung that can be missed out if only conventional stethoscope is used to auscultate. A seasoned doctor can pick up the abnormal sound because of the experience but it was difficult for them to teach students. So, it is very much useful while teaching a student to pick up the abnormal sound of heart and lung.”

As of now the sound recorded cannot be transferred wirelessly but the next version will be bluetooth enabled, said Dr. Pinto.

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