Remote Patient Assessment Using Digital Stethoscope for Telehealth System in Australia

Health departments spend significant amount of their budget to assist patients travelling to major centres for assessment prior to surgery or for routine checks.  This travel is both expensive and disruptive. Teleauscultation using digital Stethoscope offers an alternative for a significant amount of this travel. This project will produce a user friendly, remote patient assessment teleauscultation integrated device for illness that requires a stethoscope for diagnosis or assessment. Benefits of the project include real-time interaction between specialists and remote patients; incidental learning by remotely located health workers, less disruption to patients and more effective use of the medical professionals’ time.

Digital Stethoscopes provide valuable means of training new medical staff to identify a variety of heart, lung and bowel sounds, by allowing its use as either an acquisition instrument or by direct practical demonstration. It is hoped that by the application of digital processing techniques substantial visualisation can also be associated with the audible frequencies of the heart. Successful cross-correlation of polygraphic data can ultimately transform the outdated analogue stethoscope to a more effective modern-day diagnostics tool.

Funded by the Australian Research Council