Stethoscope´s types and evolution

In this article, we will explain the history and types of stethoscope

The stethoscope is used for cardiac and respiratory sounds auscultation, although it is sometimes also used to determine bowel sounds or blows by blood flow in arteries and veins. Its usefulness has led it to be one of the main tools for physicians and healthcare professionals. With few utensils, it offers the doctor a tremendous diagnostic capability to various pathologies of the patient.

The smart electronic stethoscope is a breakthrough in the current medicine propitiated by the integration of new technologies. After two centuries since the invention of the stethoscope, the Spanish company eKuore Mobile Health Devices has been a pioneer in placing in the field of ‘telemedicine’ an innovative digital stethoscope. Its innovation lies in both device and software that incorporates its app, making this an intelligent tool.


Stethoscope’s History

This simple and effective device’s skills led the stethoscope to keep in force linked to the medicine. A rudimentary’ cylinder of wood’ of 30 centimeters was invented in 1816 by the French Doctor René Laënnec, leaving the immediate auscultation technique (to put the ear directly in the patient’s body).

  René Laennec stethoscope  

The creation of the stethoscope was a half-century breakthrough in the exploration and description of certain diseases. It pointed to its differentiation and diagnosis. Laënnec’s invention and the publication of his work in 1819: “On Mediate Auscultation or Treatise on the Diagnosis of the Diseases of the Lungs and Heart-based mainly on this new exploration way.


Iconic instrument- The stethoscope

The stethoscope has evolved gradually to derive from the classical model that has accompanied the current generations to visit the doctor. A gadget consists of a chest piece with a sensitive membrane attached, bound with a rubber tube that runs the sound into two ducts with ear tips at the top that facilitates the coupling in the ears and isolate external sound.

stethoscope evolution

Its use is so common, by different specialists and medical and health disciplines, that the stethoscope has become an iconic figure of the medicine. With the white coat, it is able to characterize, in the universal collective, by itself to a professional of the health’s field.

 Stethoscope’s typology

Currently, the different stethoscope can play a complementary role. In the market are:

#1 Flexible Bi-earphones (classic):

It consists of a chest piece made of steel for better acoustics. A binaural (rubber tube) is an important piece. Depending on its thickness, it will isolate the sound from auscultation better or worse. Finally, the metallic arc and the ear tips fit and fix in the ear and isolate external sounds.

The stethoscope simply helps to listen to patients’ cardiac, respiratory, and abdominal sounds to explore, among others: blows, blood pressure, rhonchus appearance, crackles, peristaltic noises.

There is a wide range which includes different models. Most of them respond to the quality of the materials and composition. However, its typology and use are segmented depending on the patient submitted to the auscultation.

The main difference of the stethoscope comes determined by its Chest-piece: A stethoscope for adults has a big chest piece.

adult stethoscope

Pediatric stethoscope: has a medium- size chest piece.

pediatric stethoscope

Intant stethoscope: small size chest piece.

infant stethoscope

Also, the more sophisticated stethoscope models have a double chest piece. It maintains different diameters on each side. Moreover, some of them have a simple membrane, and others have a dual-frequency membrane.

#2 Electronic stethoscope:

The electronic stethoscope eKuore Pro is an avant-garde initiative in the exploration and auscultation of the patients. The smart electronic stethoscope is the evolution of his predecessor and provides numerous professional features to improve diagnosis and treatment. This device of easy handling allows:

  1.  Further amplification of the sound.
  2. Record the auscultation.
  3. Share the auscultation with other professionals.
  4. Exchange chest piece (for adults, infants, and new-born patients).
  5. Seamlessly real-time auscultation.
  6. Cardiac and respiratory filters.
  7. Phonocardiogram on the app.
electronic stethoscope ekuore pro

Each of these stethoscope properties provides numerous advantages to take a more objective and effective patient monitoring:

  1. Patient follow-up and results monitoring
  2. Store auscultations in the patient history file.
  3. Better Diagnostics with quality sound

#3 Obstetric stethoscope (Pinard’s Stethoscope):

It is rigid and bell-shaped so that its excellent chest piece can provide a good acoustic that makes it the most useful instrument to listen to the heart tone of the embryo in the maternal breast, yet from the 18th week. On the other hand, it forces the doctor to adopt uncomfortable stances for its correct use because of its stiffness.

  pinard stethocope  

In conclusion, a stethoscope is an indispensable tool in any healthcare professional practice. It has been evolving throughout history, incorporating the technical improvements of the moment before reaching the intelligent digital stethoscope eKuore-Pro, which introduces the device in the medicine of the 21st century and responds to professionals’ concerns in the introduction of the improving techniques for patient care.