By Design May 2014

A Stethoscope That Can See

A new tool lets doctors turn sound waves into graphs.
More
Rijuven

For nearly 200 years, the stethoscope has allowed doctors to eavesdrop on the beat of patients’ hearts and the whoosh of their blood. Although the device has been refined over time, its effectiveness still depends on a decidedly low-tech variable: the human ear. Even the most attuned examiner might imagine hearing a subtle abnormality, leading to expensive and ultimately unnecessary tests—or miss one, overlooking a potential red flag.

The CardioSleeve, a new, FDA-approved accessory, transforms a standard analog stethoscope into a visual, as well as aural, tool. The device, which faces the usual financial and habitual barriers to adoption, digitally records a patient’s heartbeat while simultaneously taking an electrocardiogram, similar to an ultrasound. This information uploads to the cloud. Doctors can then view it in graphs and charts on a mobile device, enabling them to quickly decide whether patients need further evaluation and to review their records down the line.

 

Jump to comments
Presented by

Eleanor Smith is an Atlantic senior associate editor.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In