Digital stethoscopic devices like the digital stetoscope and digital mic have become increasingly popular among medical professionals.
But is it really necessary?
Is it better to get a digital recorder?
Can digital stets actually work as a substitute for a physical stethoclear?
The answers to these questions may surprise you.
In the first of a series of blog posts, Dr Simon Pyle from the Department of Health, Human Services and Medical Research, University of Otago, and Dr David Taggart from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Auckland discuss the health implications of digital stettoscopes.
Dr Simon said the stethode is a “dumb device” and could be “a poor substitute for an instrument”.
“Stets are not necessarily more accurate than digital sthetoscopic instruments in terms of sound quality and imaging,” Dr Pyle said.
“The difference is the amount of power it requires to do the job.
If you use a digital mic to record, the power consumption is a lot less.”
“It may be a good idea to use a stethotoscope as a more accurate test, especially if the patient is in good health.” “
But digital stutoscopes have become a significant part of the diagnostic equipment market and we can use digital stereoscopes to test things like the heart and respiration rates.”
“It may be a good idea to use a stethotoscope as a more accurate test, especially if the patient is in good health.”
Dr Simon’s view is supported by a recent survey carried out by Otago University.
The results showed that 61 per cent of respondents felt digital steteoscopes were not “worth the money”.
Dr Pylae said the data revealed the benefits of digital instruments.
“It has shown that a digital system is very reliable, has more power than a physical one and has a wider variety of inputs,” he said.
Dr Pyles said digital stesoscopes are being used by more and more health professionals, particularly those in rural and remote communities.
“There is evidence that digital stetting is becoming more popular in the healthcare setting and that is an area that we need to continue to monitor,” he explained.
“Digital stetoscopes offer a lot more information to the health professional, which is something that they need to get in the right order and to get the information in the correct way.”
“Digital devices are not all about sound quality.”
Digital stetoscopic devices such as the digital mic and digital stechoscope are designed to record sound waves and produce an image of the sounds in the room.
These devices are usually portable and are easily accessible to a range of patients.
“For example, the digital mics are usually used for recording sounds in a small space, where a patient may be lying down on a bed, for example, so they can see what’s happening in their body,” Dr Taggert said.
The digital stenoscope is often used for clinical assessment of patients with hearing loss.
“Many people in rural communities are often unable to afford the cost of recording and analyzing sounds,” Dr Paul Gartley, a lecturer in public health at Otago and the author of ‘The Health of the Planet’ said.
He said the digital recording equipment was also an important tool for research.
“People who are not hearing-impaired may be able to use these devices to record sounds that are in a room that they can’t hear in, for instance, in the bedroom, and the patient can then hear those sounds when they are in the bed,” he added.
What are digital steometers? “
This is an extremely useful tool to make the diagnosis in a hospital setting, so it is an important one to have in clinical settings.”
What are digital steometers?
Stethoscopes measure sound waves by converting them to images and then converting those images into electrical signals.
The sound is converted to electrical signals and stored in memory.
This allows the user to track the measurements of the sound waves.
The amount of information transmitted depends on the size of the device, and it is possible to record different types of sounds.
The stethote has a range from 0.25 to 2.5 metres in height and weighs about 15 to 18 kilograms.
Stethode costs $2,000, but they can be purchased for as little as $500.
What are the advantages of digital technology?
“Digital recording is a very powerful tool for medical diagnosis and a useful tool for a range the different medical conditions,” Dr Gartleysaid.
“Some patients are sensitive to sound in different ways and have difficulty using the stesoscope to record the sound.”
Digital devices can be used to record acoustic sounds, and can record sound in the presence of an object such as a window, wall, table or other furniture.
This can make it easier to hear the patient’s heartbeat and