This Digital Stethoscope Can Spot Extra-Subtle Heart Murmurs

Physicians have been successfully diagnosing heart conditions using just their stethoscopes and ears for years now. But how many particularly subtle issues, like heart murmurs, have gone unnoticed? With the ViScope MD from HD Medical Inc., hopefully none ever do. It adds audio filters, a visual readout, and automatic murmur detection to a standard stethoscope to enhance what doctors already hear, ensuring nothing gets missed.

At $600 the ViScope MD is certainly far more expensive than your run-of-the-mill stethoscope, but the inclusion of a phonocardiogram display means that heart rates can be accurately monitored visually in noisy situations. The sound delivered to the ears is actually digital, too, so not only can it be turned up, it can also be filtered to let the user distinguish and tune in to different parts of the heart.

The most interesting feature, though, is the ViScope MD's ability to listen for heart murmurs, and then display obvious warnings when one has been detected. It can even record ten-second waveform samples to be later analyzed further or compared against a normal heart rate. Will it absolutely guarantee nothing gets missed? Probably not. But serving as a second set of digital ears certainly helps reduce the chances of a serious medical issue going undetected. [HD Medical Inc. via Damn Geeky]