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August 18, 2021

Intelligent stethoscope streams from the heart

Physicians use stethoscopes to collect heart sounds from patients in their offices. But what about remote patients?

The Eko DUO ECG + Digital Stethoscope closes the distance by streaming heart sound and ECG tracing data across the internet while enabling high-fidelity auscultation sounds and data analysis.

About the technology

The Eko DUO ECG + Digital Stethoscope lets physicians screen patients in the office, across the country or around the world. With this technology, you can listen to heart sounds and take ECG tracings at rural clinics and nursing homes too, says Bryan Humbarger, senior vice president at Eko. Patients can also collect and stream heart sound and ECG data from home.

The Eko telehealth platform combines video, high-fidelity auscultation sounds and ECG for telehealth visits, enabling virtual visits and screenings through a live stream. The platform integrates with telemedicine and home care settings, using embedded video conferencing or a health system’s video platform. The Eko platform’s dashboard secures access to patient information and recordings.

The appropriately named Digital Stethoscope digitizes the exam, so physicians can access machine-learning algorithms and AI analysis tools to detect heart disease.

"The Eko DUO analyzes heart sound and ECG data to detect murmurs, atrial fibrillation and hemodynamic parameters indicative of heart disease," Humbarger says.

For expanded utility, the Eko DUO integrates with the CORE 2 Digital Attachment to stream sounds to Bluetooth devices for contactless screening while adding amplification, active noise cancellation and wireless functionality. Using the Eko app or dashboard, physicians can record, save, share or stream stethoscope sounds and waveform visuals for further consultation.

Speaking of apps, physicians use Eko’s mobile and web software for iOS, Android and Windows to wirelessly pair with the Eko CORE 2 Digital Attachment and DUO and to manage sounds and tracings.

Using the tech

The Eko CORE 2 Digital Attachment streams sounds to Bluetooth devices and adds amplification and active noise cancellation to the Eko DUO.

The Eko CORE 2 Digital Attachment streams sounds to Bluetooth devices and adds amplification and active noise cancellation to the Eko DUO.

Terry Grossman, M.D., founder of Grossman Wellness Center in Denver, is an authority on anti-aging, longevity and preventive medicine.

"Before COVID, my office visit mix was 80% in-office and 20% telehealth using a video conferencing platform," Grossman says. "I was not able to auscultate the chest or abdomen in the telehealth cases."

Now with the Eko DUO, Grossman can care for local, remote and even foreign patients. "Eighty percent of visits are now videoconference telehealth, and 20% are in person," he says. "I use the Eko DUO to listen to heart and breath sounds as part of routine checkups or for specific complaints, particularly around COVID."

Small device, big changes

Treatment sans travel is a significant relief for patients. The Eko DUO has also enhanced Grossman’s quality of work. "I make sure that all of my patients have a pulse oximeter in their home so they can measure their oxygen levels. With the Eko DUO in their home, I can hear their lungs and make an accurate assessment, so they don’t have to go to an ER or urgent care," says Grossman.

Favorite features, wish list

"The augmented sound available on the Eko DUO is better than my high-end cardiology stethoscope," Grossman says. "I heard a murmur I never heard before. Then I looked at the Eko software, and it said, ’murmur.’ The AI is quite good."

As for future features on the Eko DUO, Grossman would find it helpful to check blood pressure, visualize the tympanic membrane, look at the pharynx, and check the Sa02 levels using the Eko DUO. "These capabilities would allow a complete physical evaluation of the patient," says Grossman.

How to get

The Eko DUO ECG + Digital Stethoscope retails for $349. The Eko CORE 2 Digital Attachment retails for $199. Purchase online at shop.ekohealth.com.



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