The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new medical device known as Eko Core from Eko Devices, a start-up led by three recent Berkeley graduates.
According to the company, the device is a snap-on attachment for just about any analog stethoscope that provides advanced audio processing, recording, and sharing capabilities.
The device pairs with an iPhone or iPad application and streams the audio to the mobile device. From there the audio or recordings can be replayed, examined thoroughly with audio and visual tools, and shared with other medicos.
The developers - Jason Bellet, chief operating officer; Connor Landgraf, chief executive; and Tyler Crouch, chief technology officer - explain that the device also has a passive mode, allowing you to hear exactly what you'd normally hear through your stethoscope as if the Eko Core wasn't there.
Interestingly, the co-founders of Shazam, the app that can identify music by listening to a few seconds of a recording, invested in Eko Devices.
Cardiologists at the Mayo Clinic, Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, who have seen and sampled the Eko technology are initially impressed.
"This is probably one of the most important innovations in the plain old stethoscope in recent years," said Dr. Charanjit Rihal, chairman of the division of cardiovascular diseases at the Mayo Clinic.