Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Smart Stethoscope

PostedOctober 4, 2019

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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. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.