3M Introduces Electronic Stethoscope with Bluetooth Wireless Capability

3M announced the introduction of the 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200, a next-generation auscultation device featuring Bluetooth technology that wirelessly transfers heart, lung and other body sounds to software for further analysis.

Warren Wasescha, new products marketing manager, 3M Health Care said, For almost 50 years, the Littmann brand has been synonymous with quality and innovation in stethoscopes. The introduction of the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 signals a new age in stethoscope technology that will help enhance cliniciansâ?? natural abilities, and enable healthcare providers to confirm diagnoses and more easily gather a second opinion from colleagues.

The company partnered with Connecticut-based Zargis Medical to develop two companion software packages exclusively for the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200. Specifically:

Zargis Cardioscan software easily pairs with the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 to guide the clinician through four main cardiac sites, then after approximately one minute, indicates whether or not the patient possesses a suspected diastolic or systolic murmurâ??and whether or not the murmur is suspected to be a Class I indication for echocardiography referral.

Zargis StethAssist software, included with the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200, allows clinicians to visualize heart, lung and other body sounds, play recordings at slow speeds to hear more clearly, and save recordings for comparison to future auscultations.

StethAssist and Cardioscan recordings and related patient notes are stored electronically and can also be sent to colleagues for a second opinion.

The combination of the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 and the Zargis Cardioscan diagnostic support software arms clinicians with a valuable tool that provides results during the patient exam," said Joseph Tartaglia, MD, a practicing cardiologist in White Plains, New York, and clinical assistant professor of medicine at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. "The ability to record and automatically analyze heart sounds can help improve a clinician's confidence, document complex auscultations, and may keep some patients from going through additional, unnecessary testing.

According to a retrospective study published in Clinical Cardiology in 2008,1 physicians using Cardioscan results reduced their false negative referral decisions for heart murmurs by an average of 46 percent and reduced their unnecessary referral decisions by an average of 41 percent.

"At a time when our nation is focused on leveraging technology to improve healthcare efficiency, this launch represents a breakthrough in computer-aided auscultation that has the potential to reduce unnecessary referrals, or help clinicians detect pathologic heart murmurs earlier in the treatment cycle," stated John Kallassy, CEO of Zargis Medical.

Electronic vs. Non-Electronic Stethoscopes

The Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 is part of a line of electronic stethoscopes that also includes the recently introduced 3Mâ?¢ Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3100. Although the model 3200 is the only stethoscope that utilizes Bluetooth, both stethoscopes feature 24x sound amplification and proprietary Ambient Noise Reduction (ANR) Technology, which reduces, on average, 85 percent of ambient noise that can interfere with the auscultation experience.

Clinical Evidence: In a series of three controlled experiments comparing non-electronic, cardiology-type stethoscopes and the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Series:

Detecting S3 gallops: 191 cardiologists listened to pre-recorded heart sounds with and without an S3 gallop of two different magnitudes, presented in random order and in the presence of ambient noise. Results showed that:

– Cardiologists missed an S3 gallop 40 percent more often with a non-electronic stethoscope than with a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Series.

– 83 percent reported that it was easier to detect/hear an S3 gallop with a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Series.

Assessing aortic regurgitations: 100 cardiologists listened to pre-recorded heart sounds with and without Grade 1 or Grade 2 aortic regurgitation murmurs, presented in random order in the presence of ambient noise. Results demonstrated that:

– 82 percent of cardiologists indicated it was easier to detect an aortic regurgitation (Grade 1 or 2) with a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Series compared to the traditional stethoscope.

– Grade 2 aortic regurgitation murmurs were missed five times more often with the traditional scope than with a Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 Series.Identifying lung sounds: 137 critical care nurses listened to, and were asked to identify, prerecorded normal and abnormal lung sounds (with crackles, wheezes or rhonchi) presented in the presence of ambient noise. Results showed:

– 90 percent indicated it was easier to detect/hear abnormal lung sounds with the electronic stethoscope

– Sounds were misidentified as normal or abnormal two times more often with the traditional stethoscope

The studies demonstrated a clear benefit in the ability of electronic stethoscopes to detect murmurs and other sounds," said Ned Hancock, marketing manager, 3M Health Care. "The electronic stethoscopes in the Littmann brand of products not only provide enhanced sound quality but also reduce ambient noise, helping the clinician make an assessment with confidence."

More information on the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope 3000 Series, including a free 14-day trial of the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model's 3100 or 3200, can be found at http://www.littmann.com/ or by calling 1-800-413-1795

About 3M Health Care

3M Health Care, one of 3Mâ??s six major business segments, provides world-class innovative products and services to help health care professionals improve the practice, delivery and outcome of patient care in medical, oral care, drug delivery and health information markets.

For more information, visit http://www.3m.com/

About Zargis Medical Corp.

Zargis Medical Corp. develops advanced diagnostic decision support products and services for primary care physicians, pediatricians, cardiologists and other healthcare professionals. Zargis was formed in 2001 when Siemens Corporate Research, a division of Siemens AG (NYSE: SI), and Speedus Corp. (NASDAQ: SPDE) co-invested to develop and market an advanced acoustic technology designed to detect heart abnormalities identified through analysis of heart sounds.