Our son is a surgeon, and I remember learning while he was in medical school that using a stethoscope is not a trivial skill. And when it comes to explaining a patient’s symptoms, it often becomes a challenging game of “did you hear what I heard?” As a result, the Eko Core is a digital attachment for a standard stethoscope that appears to offer some interesting advantages.
It pairs with smartphone or tablet using a Bluetooth wireless connection, and it can make a recording of the sounds that the user hears. Once the sounds are stored in the smartphone, however, that’s when the advantages become apparent. The recording is uploaded where it can be shared with other healthcare professionals using a HIPAA-compliant portal. Digital tools also can process the results to provide a graphic representation of the sounds, and perform analysis of the wave forms. The system is even designed to interface with most electronic health record (EHR) systems.
According to the company, more than 78% of cardiology consults are not necessary which contributes to the $210 billion wasted on unnecessary services each year in the U.S. The Eko Core is not yet approved by the FDA, though clearance is expected later this year.