Digital stethoscope can record, playback, and analyzer heart sounds

It’s somewhat amazing how these rather inexpensive electronics can augment the functionality of a common stethoscope. This digital stethoscope is using audio processing to add the features. A standard chest piece feeds a condenser microphone which is fed through a pretty standard OpAmp circuit which supplies the ADC of an ATmega644. After being digitized, the heart sound can be recorded in ten second increments to a 1 Mb flash memory chip. The data can also be fed to MATLAB via a USB cable in real-time. There it is displayed as a waveform and the heart rate is calculated on the fly. Check  out the video after the break for a great demo of the system.

The picture above shows a set of ear buds used as output. But this is a standard headphone jack, so the heart sounds can be played on speakers which we think would come in handy for teaching purposes. There’s also the option to hook it to a computer input which could be the audio used for a Skype session if a doctor is not close at hand. There is lots of potential here at a fairly low cost and we love that!


  1. BiO says:

    The TSA also loves them!

  2. bio says:

    The airport security must love this one :P

  3. Keith says:

    yikes! ESD!

  4. Alex Rossie says:

    Argh, had to listen to 3 minutes of bs before they actually let us hear it in action. It’s useless, sound quality is very poor.

    Believe it or not I rarely crack out my stethoscope to calculate someone’s heart rate. In fact apart from slow normal fast heart rate is not particular important.

    Looks fancy though.

    What I did see that is interesting is a stethoscope which let you shift the sounds heart moving infra, and ultra sound into the audible spectrum.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Sweet! I think you guys should go into business! Love the Rx logo on the carry-case :)

  6. XOIIO says:

    So it analyser heart sounds? I thought someone woul dhave noticeds that in the title.

  7. Karthik says:

    Just read about an article called TeleMedicine. They have highlighted about something referred as digital Steth. This will definetly add value to modern science.

    Kudos guys!!!

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