MedicalExpo e-magazine: How does eSteth work?
Dr. Shariq Khoja: eSteth is a digital stethoscope which means that you can connect it to a computer, tablet or mobile phone and transfer the sound to a healthcare center via internet for a telemedicine consultation. If you don’t have internet access, you can just save that sound on your device and transfer it later.
At the same time, eSteth is equipped with amplifiers and filters to increase the sound quality and filter it to the level that the healthcare provider can very clearly listen to that sound and make his or her diagnosis. Conventional stethoscopes have a sound of very low intensity, and the healthcare provider needs a lot of diagnostic expertise. Here, the sound quality is much more enhanced, the healthcare provider needs less skill to identify the differences between the sounds and it can be used by midwives or nurses.
You can recharge eSteth like a mobile phone. It has a battery which can easily last 8 hours, even if you turn it on and off multiple times.
MedicalExpo e-magazine: What is the most innovative aspect of eSteth?
Dr. Shariq Khoja: Its plug-and-play part. Usually, digital stethoscopes require some particular software. That means you need this software installed on your computer or your tablet in order to filter the sound and transfer it to a healthcare center.
ESteth is a totally plug-and-play digital stethoscope: the sound quality is controlled by the hardware itself and the transfer is not controlled by any specific software.
So, if we are talking on Skype, for example, I can connect the stethoscope to my machine, send you the recorded sound and you will start hearing it on your own Skype without needing to install special software.
There are also a couple of other innovative features, like Bluetooth and the storage capacity that makes it easier for the user to transfer the sound or to use eSteth for telemedicine without any major training.
MedicalExpo e-magazine: What is the purpose of this new product?
Dr. Shariq Khoja: Tech4life is a social enterprise which works on improving access and quality of care in the developing world. Our focus is on improving telemedicine solutions using simple, low-cost, mobile technologies for the benefit of people who don’t have access to healthcare. Sometimes, even if you provide telemedicine solutions, the hardware is very expensive, making the use of telemedicine extremely difficult in parts of the world where resources are limited. Digital stethoscopes for telemedicine are usually in the $2,000 range. e-Steth only costs $100.