Image: The DUO combines a digital stethoscope and electrocardiogram (Photo courtesy of Eko Devices).
A new portable cardiac device melds a digital stethoscope with an electrocardiogram (ECG), allowing cardiologists and patients to better monitor heart disease.
The Eko Devices (Berkley, CA, USA) DUO is a compact, handheld monitor that provides clinicians with insight into cardiac function by allowing both in-clinic and at-home patient monitoring. The digital stethoscope can be switched between analogue and digital modes, and features include x60 sound amplification and noise reduction capabilities; ECG data is provided by a single lead. The DUO is intended for use by or with the prescription of a healthcare professional, and is not available for over-the-counter purchase.
Using a Bluetooth-connected mobile app available for iPhone, iPad, Windows PC or an Android device, patients and their doctors can see a visual representation of the heart sound waveform, which can be displayed and saved directly to the app or to a patient’s electronic health record (EHR). The company is also developing machine-learning algorithms that can be combined with the DUO to automatically alert patients and their care teams of suspected decline in cardiac function.
“Cardiology programs are looking for ways to deliver hospital-quality healthcare at home. The ability to capture digital heart sounds and an ECG expands our portfolio of mechanisms to remotely monitor the heart, and brings diagnosis and opportunities for early intervention even further upstream,” said Ami Bhatt, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, USA). “Robust toolkits for caring for patients in the community will hopefully lead to more appropriate healthcare utilization through continuous rather than episodic outpatient care.”