The Stethoscope "Reinvented"

Votes: 16
Views: 592
Medical

A stethoscope reinvented for modern healthcare. By using engineering controls, separating the stethoscope into an upper and lower section, you can greatly reduce the risk of infectious disease transmission and hospital acquired infections.

Using a simple luer-slip design already common in the healthcare setting this adapter converts existing stethoscope on the market in seconds and can be used for all new stethoscopes.

The upper sections is assigned to the medical provider, reducing cross contamination from provider to provider.
The lower section is assigned to the patient, reducing cross contamination from patient to patient with the head of the providers stethoscope.

Designs include metal free and a new re-designed upper section that can be worn around the neck. The simple plastic adapter can be produced quickly and for very minimal cost. In addition the design can be 3D printed for rapid adaptation.

Research has shown that “47% to 86% of health care workers do not disinfect their stethoscope regularly and only 6% to 15% disinfect their stethoscope after every use" (Mayo Clinic Proceedings).

Application for this is global, with an estimated 1 million beds in the US alone. This includes staffed beds, acute care and ambulatory / surgical centers. This does not include assisted living facilities, prison populations and other specificity care.

The annual sales of stethoscopes is estimated to be at 120 million annually. With a projected compound annual growth rate of 5% over the next five years. The global sales market for stethoscopes is estimated to be around $373 million.

This device is simple, cheap and effective. Now more than ever the world needs a way to combat infectious disease spread.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Sean Matula
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Business Owner/Manager
  • Sean is inspired by:
    My wife Megan was diagnosed with a viral inner ear infection years ago - very rare for healthy adults, especially without a precursor cold or sinus infection. We wondered how this could happen in a healthy adult.

    After careful consideration, the only thing that came to mind was the stethoscope at work. At the time she worked as a NICU nurse.

    In order to prevent cross-contamination in the NICU, each newborn has his or her own stethoscope assigned to the incubator. As healthcare providers make their rounds, they’re able to listen to each baby’s heart and lungs through the attached stethoscope without the risk of transferring germs. Or, at least that is the intent.

    Our theory was that the viral inner ear infection was acquired from using a shared staff stethoscope at the bedside.

    Several years passed until one day Megan was featured at work in a local newspaper. The picture was of her at the bedside. In the photo the stethoscope runs through an opening in the incubator. That's when genius struck, design a stethoscope that separates.
  • Patent status:
    pending