Noise Immune Stethoscope approved for production
January 21, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Jan. 21, 2014) -- In collaboration with Active Signal Technologies, a Small Business Innovation Research partner, the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Fort Rucker, Ala. and U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Md. developed a medical device that can be used to listen to heart and lung sounds in high-noise environments such as medical evacuation vehicles.
"Heart and lung sounds are a necessary component of casualty triage and ongoing care. Hearing and assessing these sounds with traditional acoustic stethoscopes is very difficult on the battlefield. It is vitally important that military medical care providers have the necessary tools while managing patients." said Maj. Tim Cho, USAARL Aeromedical Factors branch chief.
The Noise Immune Stethoscope, like a standard acoustic stethoscope, uses an acoustic listening mode, and also adds ultrasound-based technology that is "noise immune" to amplify heart and lung sounds. This technology has the capability for users to easily switch from Doppler to acoustic mode. Both modes immediately turn body sounds into electrical signals for enhanced performance. The Communications Earplug, currently being used by aviators, attaches to the NIS and allows auscultation while wearing the flight helmet.
"The dual-mode stethoscope is specifically designed for high noise conditions," said Cho. "As a result, the fight surgeon or flight medic will be able to make more accurate decisions while en route to higher echelons of care during flight."
The NIS enables medical personnel to assess abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system in high-noise environments like the transportation of wounded Soldiers in medical evacuation aircraft, ground warfare, and intensive care units.
Between 2007 and 2013, the NIS received U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance, and through a series of rigorous laboratory and field tests conducted by USAARL, the NIS received an airworthiness release for use on-board the Black Hawk helicopter. The device is now approved for full-rate production to be used in real-world operational environments.