Friday, April 1, 2016

Oh, patents! EKO™ Core

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

If you do not want to ditch your analog stethoscope, and at the same would love to use a digital one, how about purchasing an electronic attachment?

The EKO Core stethoscope attachment will transform almost any analog stethoscope into a digital one, and stream the data collected during examination directly to your portable phone or tablet via wireless Bluetooth™ connection. 

US2015257728 titled Stethoscope, Stethoscope Attachment and Collected Data Analysis Method and System, recites this invention developed and tested at UCSF. 

Beyond the reduced costs of an attachment only for negotiating the switch from analog to digital auscultation, the most important advantage is that the analysis and diagnosis of sounds no longer depend exclusively on the practitioner’s listening skills.

Indeed, when using digital auscultation, sounds can be recorded and transferred to another device for analysis and diagnostic purposes. 

However, there is yet another advantage recited as part of this invention, since there are provisions for the ornamental aspects of the attachment to be be specifically designed with an appeal for pediatric patients, for example with butterfly wings.

Thus, the EKO™ core attachment, optionally packaged in a way that is appealing to children, is designed to attach to a conventional analog stethoscope, to convert analog to digital signals, and to send them wirelessly to a storage and analysis device equipped with an EKO™ app. This results in possibilities of remote diagnosis in underserved populations, collection and storage of examination data for educational and training purposes, and kid friendly experiences in primary care. 

The Abstract of this invention, disclosed in US2015257728 titled Stethoscope, Stethoscope Attachment and Collected Data Analysis Method and System, is included below. A patent figure drawing and an image of the device are also included. 
A device for converting acoustic data collected by a stethoscope into digital data for transmission to a processor for storage and/or comparison with data stored in a database, and to optionally provide computer generated suggestions for diagnosis, is provided in the form of an in-line device interposable between a head of the stethoscope and an acoustic transmission portion of the stethoscope, or is integral with the head, and advantageously has the appearance of an icon of pleasing appearance, for example, a butterfly, in which are incorporated the structural requisites of a functioning stethoscope and/or capabilities for receiving and transmitting to a diagnostician, audio signals gathered from patient examination, and optionally also other data collected at examination and/or following the examination. The butterfly-shaped device, includes a central body advantageously serving as a conduit for transmitting sound received from the patient to the physician or a remote system for analysis and diagnosis.                 Abstract US2015257728

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