Abstract 14852: Clinical Performance of The HeartBuds, an Electronic Smartphone Listening Device, Compared to FDA Approved Class I and Class II Stethoscopes
Background: Auscultation with stethoscopes is essential to the physical exam. However, the stethoscope has not appreciably changed since Leared and Cammann developed the first binaural stethoscopes in the mid 1800s. Technological advances make it possible to use smartphone technology to auscultate patients. The HeartBuds, a listening device that integrates with an iPhone app, achieves this purpose.
The purpose of this study was to compare HeartBuds’ acoustic superiority over the FDA approved class I blue disposable stethoscopes, which are commonly used in practice to reduce hospital infection rates, and demonstrate equivalence to the gold standard FDA class I analog stethoscope, the Littmann Cardiology III, and the FDA class II digital stethoscope, the Littmann Electronic 3200.
Methods: 50 adult patients were auscultated with each of the above-mentioned stethoscopes by two independent examiners. They rated their acoustic quality and completed surveys documenting body sounds heard.
Results: The disposable stethoscope was significantly worse at identifying cardiac murmurs (p<0.002), and performed poorly when auscultating for carotid bruits (p<0.058). The HeartBuds stethoscope was equivalent to its more commonly used counterparts, the Littmann Cardiology III and the Littmann Electronic 3200. Examiners also found it to be of comparable acoustic quality to these models.
Conclusion: HeartBuds is a smartphone compatible listening device that was superior in examining cardiovascular sounds to approved FDA Class I disposable stethoscopes, and equivalent to FDA approved class I and class II Littmann stethoscopes.
Author Disclosures: R.S. Patel: None. J. Schwarz: None. V. Danesh: None. A.M. Einhorn: None. D. Bello: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.