REBLOG: Optical Stethoscope Could Visualize Your Heartbeat
The stethoscope is not only a medical staple more than 200 years old — it's also an iconic tool that immediately conjures images of doctor's offices in our minds. But now, designers have re-imagined the stethoscope for the 21st century by adding an LED screen that visualizes our body's natural rhythms.
Designers Seobin Oh and JoonHee Kim created an optical stethoscope concept shaped like its traditional counterpart, but gives doctors deeper insight, as reported on Yanko Design. As the video shows above, the concept stethoscope's LED screen displays numerical information and a waveform of the heart rate, allowing doctors to add a visual layer to their recordings.
The design features different colors for reading the heart (red), lungs (blue) and stomach (yellow). The designers said their concept could help medical students become familiar with the sound of each organ using waveform, and would also allow for faster, more accurate diagnosis in emergency situations.
Oh and Kim have even addressed the unpleasantness of a cold stethoscope touching bare skin: a wire running along the optical stethoscope's ring can heat to one's body temperature.
While this optical stethoscope is purely a concept for now, it illustrates the possibility of innovating an age-old technology in a useful way.
What do you think about this design concept? How would you design a stethoscope for 2013? Share your thoughts in the comments.