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New Littmann stethoscope system advancing medical training

22 November 2011

A new mobile-enabled stethoscope system, developed by diversified technology company 3M, is advancing the teaching of auscultation (listening to a patient’s heart and lung sounds). 

The Littmann Listen-In auscultation teaching system connects up to five electronic stethoscopes allowing multiple clinicians to listen simultaneously to the same sounds. During a patient examination, one stethoscope acts as the lead, digitally capturing the sounds.  The Listen-In system, supported by an Android mobile device, then transmits the data via Bluetooth to up to four ‘listening’ stethoscopes instantly.

This unique system helps medical students and junior doctors to benefit from the knowledge and skills of a senior clinician, helping them to learn correct examination technique and interpretation of body sounds. It also benefits patients by reducing the number of examinations they experience on ward rounds.

Dr Will Carroll, Consultant Paediatrician at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital is the first to trial the product. Responsible for teaching over 100 undergraduate medical students each year, he believes the system is an excellent teaching tool and importantly, it benefits his young patients.  

“Simultaneous listening requiring only one patient examination is particularly advantageous for infants and young children who become tired and stressed by multiple examinations,” he said.

“Auscultation is a hard-won skill, but the Littmann sound quality means even subtle, difficult to hear sounds can be clearly distinguished. Once confident in hearing and interpreting the exact same sounds, my trainees can quickly and accurately report findings and I am assured of their capabilities.”

“The Listen-In system can potentially improve the standard of patient examinations going forward, making doctors less reliant on expensive diagnostics tests such as echocardiography and CT scanning,” he added.

3M is a trademark and Littmann is a registered trademark of the 3M Company.
Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SGI Inc.
Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

Media enquiries:
Julie Owen
Tel: 01509 613372
Email: jowen1@mmm.com

Liz Smith
Derbyshire Children’s Hospital
Tel: 01332 785778
Email: liz.smith@derbyhospitals.nhs.uk

About 3M
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Its culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better.

The $27 billion diversified technology company has, since 1902, been creating innovative products that help make the world healthier, safer and more productive. Well known 3M brands include Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate and Scotch-Brite.
3M employs some 80,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. The UK and Ireland is home to one of the largest 3M subsidiaries outside the USA, employing more than 3,500 people across 19 locations, including 10 manufacturing sites.

Products manufactured in the UK include coated abrasives, occupational health and environmental safety equipment, adhesive tapes, industrial microbiology products, drug delivery systems, high-performance coatings, secure documents and passport scanners.

Picture caption:
Simultaneously examining a patient at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital are Dr Will Carroll (centre) with registrar, Carley Frerichs, medical educator Ian Petranski and junior doctor Surabhi Varma