Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Smart Stethoscope

PostedMarch 23, 2019

Download File (mp3)

Lede: Diagnosing lung diseases ideally uses tools like chest X-rays and blood tests, but in low-resource communities the stethoscope is often the only tool.

Randy Atkins: Using a stethoscope can be challenging in many busy clinics around the world where sounds include crying children, heavy traffic, beating fans, and more. So Mounya Elhilali, a Johns Hopkins engineer, is working on…

Mounya Elhilali: ...redesigning the entire stethoscope from scratch.

Randy Atkins: It actually looks very similar, but has a souped-up listening device with an array of microphones that’s basically a mini-computer. It identifies and cancels environmental sounds and processes chest noises using artificial intelligence that performs…

Mounya Elhilali: …an analysis on this sound and flag signals that would indicate that maybe we need to get medical attention right away or what the condition of the lung is.

Randy Atkins: Elhilali says field testing has shown the smart stethoscope works, even in noisy places, and its data can be sent electronically to specialists anywhere in the word. A first version should be available this year. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.