Researchers developed a new digital stethoscope that combines precision sensors, electrocardiogram technology and machine learning applications into one piece of equipment to better detect heart ailments and problems that might occur with an implanted heart pump.
Jason Kolodziej and Steven Day, engineering professors at Rochester Institute of Technology, worked with Dr. Karl Schwarz, cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, to develop an Advanced Digital Stethoscope prototype.
The researchers expanded capabilities and functions of a traditional stethoscope to detect off-rhythms of the heart, primarily one with an embedded left ventricular assist device, or heart pump.
Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) are used to help manage end-stage heart failure, pumping blood from the left ventricle to the aorta to provide needed blood flow for patients with severely reduced heart function.
Most cardiologists aren't wheeling around this data collection hardware," said Kolodziej, associate professor of mechanical engineering in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. with more than 600,000 dying of heart disease annually, according to the Center for Disease Control.