Littmann Electronic Stethoscope
It is strange, but, while every other piece of medical equipment is getting upgraded, the stethoscope remains stuck at the same technical level as it was 100 years ago. Its basic parts have seen some upgrades, newer materials have led to the development of better diaphragms, and softer eartips, but in an age of digitization, the standard stethoscope remains analog.
Unfortunately, the situation will stay unchanged for many years to come because the very few electronic stethoscope that currently are being marketed, are so outrageously expensive, that you would either have to have a very rich benefactor, or an incredible need for accuracy. Still, the fact remains that the Littmann electronic stethoscope is the most accurate piece of auscultation technology available today, and it deserves at least a review in the hopes that some of you will fall in love with it.
The Littmann electronic stethoscope uses a very precise, incredibly accurate microphone that turns the sounds from the patient into electronic signals. Those signals get amplified within the stethoscope and are then turn back into sound. That means you do not need to press down to hear one type of sounds and release to hear another. It also means that you do not need a bell to hear a third type of sounds. Instead it means that you can increase the volume just like you would on any mp3 player to hear exactly what you need. Furthermore, since you do not have to press down to focus the stethoscope on some sounds, you also get to hear the entire concert and interpret the sounds in their natural rhythm.
- Overall acoustic performance (1-10 scale) 10+
- Main application areas; cardiology/high performance/ bluetooth
- Chestpiece design and technology; durable metal
- Headset material; wide diameter aerospace alloy
- Diaphragm details; 51.0 mm
The other great thing about using a microphone and an electronic system means that the system can detect background noise and mute it. The Littmann electronic stethoscope can also detect the sound pattern and emit white noise so you even what little sounds escapes through the patented Soft Sealing eartips gets blocked out. What you end up with, is a stethoscope that effectively blocks out 85% of all other noise except the one that you are actually interested in hearing.
There are several other advantages about using an electronic stethoscope and they all stem from the fact that Littmann was wise enough to put Bluetooth connectivity into their stethoscope. It allows you to connect the stethoscope to a computer and from there you choices are infinite. You can plug that computer into a set of speakers with their own amplification and share the sounds with an entire team of doctors, or a class of students.
The 3M Littmann electronic stethoscope also comes with its own proprietary software that allows you to share your auscultation with anyone else that has the software, even if they are on the other side of the earth. The system itself is pretty intuitive, but you do get an instructional video that helps you every step of the way.
To conclude, we are not saying that everyone should run out and buy a Littmann electronic stethoscope. It is certainly too expensive for many medical practitioners to afford, and that money could certainly be put to better use. However, if you can afford it, you should definitely use it, and if not, you should definitely keep an eye on the market or at least on our site because we will certainly be monitoring the prices and we will let you know as soon as they drop.