Cardiac Auscultation Recording Digitally Study
Cardiac auscultation (listening to the heart) is a cornerstone of the physical examination, providing a wealth of diagnostic information. The quality of that information is determined by the quality of the hardware (stethoscope) and the ability of the listener to hear and interpret the information. The basic design of the stethoscope has remained essentially unchanged for over 100 years, leaving much room for improvement. The listener makes a diagnosis based upon his/her knowledge base and experience, though limited by any hearing impairment. BMHT has been working both to improve stethoscope design and to demonstrate the benefits of MDPS™ acoustic processing in aiding the clinician making the correct diagnosis. Ideally, our technology could help a clinician make the correct diagnosis at the bedside with only a stethoscope, regardless of specialty, experience level, or hearing ability.
The Cardiac Auscultation Recording Digitally Study (CARDS) is designed to address both of these issues. It is being performed at a top-tier teaching medical university with the participation of a world-renowned auscultation expert. Heart sounds recordings are being made in patients with specific cardiac disorders, using both a standard FDA-approved stethoscope and a new one designed by BMHT. The recordings are then compared unprocessed versus after MDPS™ processing for sound quality, clarity, and interpretability. In addition, they are being evaluated for the presence of previously unheard sound features that may provide additional useful diagnostic information.
An additional benefit of this trial is that we will begin to create a library of high-quality digital recordings of heart sounds that can be used for educational purposes. BMHT seeks to become a leader in assisting medical education for students, trainees, and practicing clinicians.