3M Health Care (3M), has launched its 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 which includes Bluetooth wireless capability. This Bluetooth technology enables wireless transfer of sounds from heart, lung and other body to software for further analysis.
Warren Wasescha, new products marketing manager, 3M Health Care said: “The introduction of the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 signals a new age in stethoscope technology that will help enhance clinicians’ natural abilities, and enable healthcare providers to confirm diagnoses and more easily gather a second opinion from colleagues.”
The company partnered with Connecticut-based Zargis Medical to develop two companion software packages exclusively for the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200. Specifically, Zargis Cardioscan and Zargis StethAssist.
Zargis Cardioscan software easily pairs with the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 to guide the clinician through four main cardiac sites, then after approximately one minute, indicates whether or not the patient possesses a suspected diastolic or systolic murmur and whether or not the murmur is suspected to be a Class I indication for echocardiography referral.
Zargis StethAssist software, included with the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200, allows clinicians to visualize heart, lung and other body sounds, play recordings at slow speeds to hear more clearly, and save recordings for comparison to future auscultations.
StethAssist and Cardioscan recordings and related patient notes are stored electronically and can also be sent to colleagues for a second opinion.
“The combination of the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 and the Zargis Cardioscan diagnostic support software arms clinicians with a valuable tool that provides results during the patient exam,” said Joseph Tartaglia, MD, a practicing cardiologist in White Plains, New York, and clinical assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. “The ability to record and automatically analyze heart sounds can help improve a clinician’s confidence, document complex auscultations, and may keep some patients from going through additional, unnecessary testing.”
According to a retrospective study, physicians using Cardioscan results reduced their false negative referral decisions for heart murmurs by an average of 46% and reduced their unnecessary referral decisions by an average of 41%.
The Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 is part of a line of electronic stethoscopes that also includes the recently introduced 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3100. Although the model 3200 is the only stethoscope that utilizes Bluetooth, both stethoscopes feature 24x sound amplification and Ambient Noise Reduction (ANR) Technology, which reduces, on average, 85% of ambient noise that can interfere with the auscultation experience.
In a clinical evidence comparing non-electronic, cardiology-type stethoscopes and the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 series, a series of three controlled experiments were conducted that included detecting S3 gallops, assessing aortic regurgitations and identifying lung sounds.
In detecting S3 gallops, 191 cardiologists listened to pre-recorded heart sounds with and without an S3 gallop of two different magnitudes, presented in random order and in the presence of ambient noise. Results showed that cardiologists missed an S3 gallop 40% more often with a non-electronic stethoscope than with a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Series and 83% reported that it was easier to detect or hear an S3 gallop with a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Series.
In assessing aortic regurgitations, 100 cardiologists listened to pre-recorded heart sounds with and without Grade 1 or Grade 2 aortic regurgitation murmurs, presented in random order in the presence of ambient noise. Results demonstrated that 82% of cardiologists indicated it was easier to detect an aortic regurgitation (Grade 1 or 2) with a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Series compared to the traditional stethoscope and Grade 2 aortic regurgitation murmurs were missed five times more often with the traditional scope than with a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Series.
In identifying lung sounds,137 critical care nurses listened to, and were asked to identify, prerecorded normal and abnormal lung sounds (with crackles, wheezes or rhonchi) presented in the presence of ambient noise. Results showed that 90% indicated it was easier to detect or hear abnormal lung sounds with the electronic stethoscope and sounds were misidentified as normal or abnormal two times more often with the traditional stethoscope.
“The studies demonstrated a clear benefit in the ability of electronic stethoscopes to detect murmurs and other sounds,” said Ned Hancock, marketing manager, 3M Health Care. “The electronic stethoscopes in the Littmann brand