Thursday, January 20, 2011

Listen to Heart Sounds with Your iPhone!

Author: Brittany Chan

There's been tremendous hype about the new blood pressure cuff for iPhone. What if you could also use your iPhone to listen for abdominal gurgles, wheezes, or even the heartbeat of your unborn child?

The iStethoscope Expert app makes this possible, and best of all, it's free! You can use your device's microphone to listen for heart, lung, and bowel sounds. The app has a built-in noise canceler that will help amplify the sound of interest. If your device does not have a microphone, or if you'd simply like to enhance the sound, you may purchase the CardioTech electronic stethoscope peripheral by Zetris for $24.99.

Notable features of this app include:
- Guides to heart, lung, and bowel sounds, including phonocardiograms, audio demonstrations and text explanations.
- Sound interpreters that help determine the underlying pathology of an abnormal sound.
- Stethoscope sound library including over 60 sounds.
- Hear fetal heart sounds at 20 weeks.
- Record, send, and save sounds for review.

Since the USMLE Step 1 exam now includes audio in some of the questions, this will be very useful for medical students studying auscultation, as well as for physicians, other healthcare personnel, and even for patient education or use at home. I'm excited to see the evolvement of these medical equipment attachments!

iStethoscope Expert is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Check it out here.

About the author:

Brittany Chan is a second-year medical student at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas.  She is also a candidate for an MBA in Health Organization Management from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University.  Originally from the Houston area, she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in psychology and general studies from Texas Tech University in 2009.  In addition to blogging, Brittany enjoys reading, crafts, and spending time with family and friends.

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