This the answer of founder and CEO Junfeng. As you perhaps remember our relationship dates back to early 2019. Junfeng Zhao launched the Kickstarter project. And some months afterwards there suddenly was the pandemic! That changed everything
Stemoscope Pro next generation stethoscope
Many medical professionals asked for a wireless stethoscope like the Stemoscope PRO in fighting the pandemic. As a leader in smart listening technology we hope we can help and contribute. Many of our Stemoscope crowdfunding supporters and later our customers are medical professionals. When the pandemic came, they found a wireless stethoscope can be very helpful in avoiding cross-infection. They provided many feedbacks and inputs on what a wireless stethoscope is ideal for them. Significant hardware upgrade is needed to enable these features/functions. That is how the Stemoscope PRO was born, a wireless stethoscope that can be easily used in their daily practice for better safety and clarity.
What were the benefits of the Stemoscope in Covid-19 treatment?
We have seen many benefits and here are two major ones.
- 1) The Stemoscope can be used in compliance with the PPE protocol. PPEs are needed to protect medical professionals. A face shield can make it inconvenient to use a classic stethoscope. Depending on the protection level, sometimes a medical professional’s two ears are fully covered by the PPEs, so that it is even impossible to use the traditional stethoscope. With the Stemoscope, a medical professional can use Bluetooth earphones that can be worn inside the PPEs to do tubeless/wireless auscultation without breaking the PPE protocol.
- 2) The Stemoscope can be used while keeping social distance between a patient and a medical professional. The maximum distance with a traditional stethoscope is limited by the tube length. Stemoscope can work 2 meters away. Our medical professionals are also very innovative. They even put the Stemoscope on a selfie stick to listen. This reduces the chance of cross-infection.
What input did you get from doctors/nurses. Their expectations, their experiences?
We get many inputs from them. On the one hand, they really like the ideas and think the Stemoscope can help them. On the other hand, they hope we can make the device more suitable for their daily use. Firstly, they hope the device can be connected with their Bluetooth earphones directly, without the phone and the App. Our App is well developed and the Stemoscope sounds can be streamed to the Bluetooth earphones via the App. They like the App but they want simplicity in some scenarios just like the simplicity that a traditional stethoscope can provide. The traditional stethoscope is very simple and it just works. They hope a wireless stethoscope can provide equivalent user experience. They don’t need to pull out their phone to use the device every time.
Secondly, they hope there is noise cancelling feature. Clinics and hospitals can be noisy. The regular Stemoscope has digital amplification that is loved by many people. However, when the useful signals are amplified, so does the noise. It is easy to find a quiet place at home to listen, so it is not a concern for home use because there is not much noise to amplify. In hospitals when the sounds are amplified, the ambient noise can become more obvious. Medical professionals hope the ambient noise can be minimized. It is an advantage that can be enabled by digital technology over a traditional stethoscope.
How about CE- or FDA approval. For the Stemoscope itself or the Pro version?
We will seek CE certification and FDA clearance for the PRO version, while we haven’t decided for the regular version. Many of users choose the Stemoscope for STEM education and recreations, fully out of the scope of a medical device.
Where will you be in 5-years? A medical company perhaps??
We have a clear vision that innovative health devices will play more and more important roles in the new era and we hope many of them are designed by us. However, medicine is a very big topic, which is related to many non-technology related factors such as public policy, regulations and insurance. We will focus on health technologies and products.
Are you going to use algorithms in near future?
Possible. We believe AI/algorithms are the trend. We will use them when we think they can be organically integrated into our product and provide people real value.
Do you expect that this device will be adopted for telemedicine/ ehealth?
YES. I expect the Stemoscope PRO will be widely adopted for ehealth in medical professional’s general daily practice and become the new icon for doctors finally.
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