U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Public Affairs Office
For Immediate Release -- Apr 25, 2014
(FORT DETRICK, Md. and FORT RUCKER, Ala.) -- A noise-immune stethoscope (NIS), able to accurately detect heart and lung sounds in even the loudest battlefield environments, has been developed by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Md. The device has been successfully tested, cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, and will be fielded to military medical teams in 2014.
In an aeromedical evacuation helicopter the noise level can easily reach 120 decibels. The ability to adequately hear heart and lung sounds with a standard acoustic stethoscope ends at roughly 85 decibels. The NIS adds Doppler technology, similar to an ultrasound, as well as signal conditioning to change the physical movement of the heart and lungs into an audible sound for the flight medic or surgeon.
Using the NIS, "the flight medic or flight surgeon will be able to make more accurate decisions while en route to higher echelons of care," said Maj. Tim Cho, U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory Aeromedical Factors branch chief.
Researchers and developers from USAMRMC's USAARL and U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency, partnered with Active Signal Technologies, a small business based out of Linthicum Heights, Md. to develop this system.
"The NIS is a perfect example of how innovation and commitment drive results for Soldiers in the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)," stated J.R. Myers, USAMRMC SBIR project manager. "Through SBIR, the command gains access to cutting edge solutions by partnering with agile small business performers."