It’s used by almost every doctor who has ever practiced medicine. But after two centuries of use, the stethoscope is finally getting an update that can help in the doctor’s office or from half-way around the world.

Thanks to his trusted stethoscope, Arnold Einhorn, MD, has detected tell-tale hints of missed beats or leaky lungs for a quarter century.

“It can tell you about the lungs, it can tell you about the heart, it can tell you about the abdomen, it can tell you about the blood vessels in the neck,” explained the Orlando Health cardiologist.

Embarrassment is the major reason the first stethoscope was invented 200 years ago. A French physician created it so he didn’t have to listen to a woman’s heart by placing his ear on her chest. But until now, the secrets unveiled by the stethoscope could only be transmitted to the doctor listening in.

“It can’t communicate with someone half-way around the world, but we can,” Dr. Einhorn said.

They can because of Heartbuds, a new electronic version of the stethoscope. Not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Heartbuds are connected to a smart phone’s app, allowing doctors to monitor hearts in the office or have patients record their own vital signs at home and then send them to the doctor.

Dr. Einhorn explained, “You can remotely listen to someone’s heart, and if someone’s got heart failure or has pneumonia and we want to listen to the lungs and the heart, we can do that now via this electronic stethoscope.”

Studies already conducted by the Orlando Health inventors conclude the Heartbuds are more sensitive and accurate than many cheaper conventional stethoscopes often found in American hospitals.

Once it’s approved by the FDA, the doctors who invented it see multiple uses for the Heartbuds, including having expecting mothers monitor the heart and heartbeats of their fetuses.

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