Let’s face it; the classic stethoscope has it’s place in healthcare, but it’s 2016. A stethoscope is so much more than just a nurse gadget, it is a tool that no nurse can be without. With technology completely changing the world and standards of care in healthcare, it’s no surprise that electronic stethoscopes are on on the rise.
These devices have come a long way indeed. Conventional stethoscopes have long been seen as a badge of honor by healthcare professionals, it has not changed much in design and function. However, while there have been some enhancement in their design, major advancements in technology have moved stethoscopes forward by leaps and bounds. Their electronic counterparts have resulted from a succession of prototypes and design changes in recent years. In fact, electronic stethoscopes may very well be the best solution for doing auscultation in a room replete with white noise of fans, electronic instruments, and computers.
Some nurses swear by a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope, other nurses are not sure where to turn. It can be difficult to nail down exactly what the best stethoscope for nurses actually is. Some nurses swear that MDF Stethoscopes are the best. Recent years have seen a number of sophisticated electronic stethoscopes being launched in the market. With a general overview of benefits and features offered by the market leaders, you can easily compare and contrast the digital stethoscopes available and pick the one that meets your needs.
Let’s check out a few key things about buying an electronic stethoscope, and have a look at some of the best electronic stethoscopes on the market.
What to Look for When Buying an Electronic Stethoscope:
Popular stethoscopes such as the Littmann 3200 utilize sophisticated transducers in order to provide clinicians with the ability to amplify heart murmurs, lung sounds etc. These tiny devices help transform acoustic sound waves to digital electronic signals, which can then be amplified, processed, and manipulated in various ways for a superior listening experience.
Ambient noise handling and reduction
Although amplification, in isolation, is a remarkable feature, it also causes a slightly distressing issue: the likelihood of amplification of sharp, loud, ambient noises such as the whir of a fan, under some circumstances, could cause significant damage to ears. To mitigate this risk, electronic stethoscope manufacturers have come up with digital stethoscopes capable of eliminating unwanted sounds in an auscultatory process thanks to their background noise filtering and attenuation mechanism that uses special filters to neutralize ambient noise.
Communication protocol and Software
The ability to record on board, transfer auscultated sounds by leveraging wireless connectivity to software suites, save files while connected to a computer, and sharing audio sounds with remotely placed specialists in real time is where some electronic stethoscopes really stand out. These complementary software packages make it possible to record and forward sounds in real time so you can seek opinions from your peers, listen to tracks at half or full playback speed, visualize heart sounds as a spectrogram or phonocardiogram, attach these files to patient’s medical records and more.
Many earlier forms of electronic stethoscopes were highly susceptible to fail in the event of battery failure, which may cause inconvenience to the clinician or even make the device completely useless. But all the market leaders guarantee a longer battery life even when used more than 25 times a day, 5 days a week with a single AAA battery.
Ease of use
A user-friendly electronic stethoscope should have easy to use controls and dedicated buttons to adjust volume up/down, power on/off and change mode between bell/diaphragm right on the head.
Thinklabs ONE is an electronic stethoscope with unparalleled sound quality. It’s 100X amplification with adjustable volume controls lets you set the required augmentation for each patient and provides all the power you need to overcome challenges such as tiny murmurs, faint sounds, noisy settings, and obese patients. Moreover, you can choose to use your own headphones with it since the design doesn’t feature any bulky stethoscope tubing.
Extremely comfortable, lightweight, and easy to use, this electronic stethoscope is unlike other electronic stethoscopes. The Littmann 3100 provides 24x amplification and a great sound experience equivalent to top-of-the-line cardiology stethoscopes. Although it doesn’t boast of any recording capability, its exclusive noise reduction technology cancels out ambient noise that may interfere with your auscultation. Thanks to its state-of-the-art sensor design and exceptional filter performance, it minimizes any disturbance and allows you to focus more on what you need to hear.
The EKO Core Digital Stethoscope is unique in that it is the only stethoscope with both digital and analog capabilities. When connected to an analog stethoscope, the ECO core attachment lends its digitizing abilities and pairs to the free Eko mobile app for a wide range of possibilities that include recording, transfer, visualization of sounds. Note that no sound is recorded on the attachment itself but it just passes audio signals through to the mobile app. These recordings can be captured and stored in a patient’s medical record, which would be great if you’re working in a cardiology office. Hands down, the EKO Core is one of the best electronic stethoscopes I have ever used. I love it!
Promo Code for the EKO Core Digital Stethoscope
Electronic Stethoscopes Are Awesome
It is these new features combined with tech advancements of recent years and some aesthetic tweaks that make buying electronic stethoscopes a wise choice today. While anyone would agree the price point can be hard to swallow, an electronic stethoscope is arguably the best investment a clinician can make when the task of advanced auscultation looms.
Do you use an electronic stethoscope? Which is your favorite?
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