What is it about?

We created a novel biological analog to do an in vitro comparison of the acoustic properties of popular stethoscopes. The purpose is to understand the state-of-the-art in stethoscope technology while modeling clinical utility at various frequency bands.

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Why is it important?

All stethoscopes have a unique frequency response and outside noise rejection. This affects their utility in various theaters of medicine. By using ITSU Loudness Units as a model for human perception of volume, we are able to rank each stethoscope by useful frequency ranges based on perceived loudness. This, along with an outside noise rejection factor, provides deep insight into the clinical performance of each stethoscope relative to others in the study group.


This method for evaluating biological audio capture devices is extremely useful. As new devices are developed and come into the market, we are now able to compare their performance to earlier models. This analysis method also provides insight for device designers and manufacturers to benchmark their new concepts against existing technology.

Joseph Butera

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This page is a summary of: An in vitro acoustic analysis and comparison of popular stethoscopes, Medical Devices Evidence and Research, January 2019, Dove Medical Press,
DOI: 10.2147/mder.s186076.
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