Auscul-X Touchless Stethoscope System
Helping to protect healthcare professionals from COVID-19
Auscul-X™ will provide healthcare professionals – including physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and respiratory therapists – the ability to listen on-demand and visualize the sounds of a patient’s heart, lungs, and other internal organs from a safe distance, thereby reducing their exposure to infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Auscul-X is a professional-grade, multi-channel, touch-free, disposable electronic stethoscope, designed by physicians. Initial feedback from healthcare professionals indicate that the sound quality produced by Auscul-X at a distance of 3 meters (10 ft) from the patient is at least equivalent to that produced by a traditional stethoscope.
The system uses 6 high-fidelity disposable acoustic sensors which are worn on the patient’s torso (typically 2 on the back and 4 on the front) for minutes to days. These sensors are designed to allow healthcare professionals to listen on-demand to the sounds of the heart, lungs, and other internal organs. The sensors are attached to the patient via gel-based adhesive pads, which are intended to be changed daily. After the patient is no longer in need of constant monitoring, the sensors are disposed of, thereby reducing the risk of cross-contamination. The six sensors are attached to a hub, which rests next to the patient. The hub is connected to the Auscul-X Control Unit, located up to 3 meters (10 ft) away.
The Auscul-X Control Unit – located up to 3 meters (10 ft) from the patient – serves as the in-room control station. It provides volume and channel selection controls designed for healthcare professionals to listen locally to the patient’s heart, lungs, and other internal organs through the use of earbuds. Additionally, it provides a Wi-Fi communication interface for remote auscultation.
Listen from outside the room:
The AirScope™ app (compatible with Apple and Android devices, and Windows workstations) allows authorized healthcare professionals to listen on-demand – and visualize – a patient’s heart and lung sounds from outside their room. This app will significantly help reduce the need for costly and time-consuming Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in cases where the patient has a highly-communicable disease. Combined with Auscul-XV server software, healthcare professionals can record, annotate, and share patient auscultation records, operations which will increase the efficiency and accuracy of consults and shift-changes.
Benefits to healthcare professionals and healthcare systems:
- Improves the safety of healthcare professionals by increasing the distance between them and the patient during auscultation.
- Improves patient safety by eliminating the stethoscope as a vector for patient-to-patient disease transmission.
- Improves hospital workflow and costs by reducing the number of times healthcare professionals don and doff PPE.
Auscul-X has been authorized by Health Canada for investigational use only, and is expected to be available for commercial sale in late 2020.