New Stethoscope Lets Physicians Hear, See Inside Chest
Stethoscope Lets Physicians Hear, See Inside Chest
Read about a computerized stethoscope invented by Dr. Ray Murphy that can help physicians hear chest sounds and see them on the computer in real-time.
In Boston, a few local hospitals are now using a new high-tech stethoscope that's making difficult diagnoses easier A patient was told she had asthma, which is more commonly misdiagnosed. then most realize.
"If someone has asthma, we hear a wheeze," said Dr. Ray Murphy, but he wasn't convinced of the diagnosis and tried a new device that he invented. It's a stethoscope that allows doctors to hear chest sounds through 16 listening devices at once and actually see them on a computer.
"I heard an unusual sound, called a squawk, not common in asthma," Murphy said.
The sounds he heard sounded like pneumonia, meaning the patient needed antibiotics -- not steroids. "I got better quickly and never had another attack," the patient said.
Murphy has spent more than 30 years trying to make a better stethoscope. Computer technology finally helped him achieve his goal.
Cardiologist Gary Brockington uses it to help his heart patients. "What this allows us to do is separate different aspects of what's going on with a patient and come up with the best diagnosis quickly," Brockington said.
The device received FDA approval in May, and in addition to being used locally at Faulkner Hospital, St. Elizabeth's and Brigham and Women's, it has caught the ear of several prestigious national clinics.
I often see where patients have been misdiagnosed, so this will be a giant step in the right direction to use appropriate emergency measures. Now, if they begin to use it to teach people to breathe better, they will discover that healthy breathing may have its own specific sounds. But I suspect that the sounds of the lungs are in no way capable of competing with the sounds of the spoken and singing voice. But at least for some, it is a good place to start.