3M has worked with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to equip its astronauts with the 3M Littmann Scope-to-Scope Tele-Auscultation System on-board at the International Space Station (ISS). The system will allow physicians on the ground to hear the actual heartbeat of astronauts in space in real-time.
JAXA will use the system for coronary tone data collection in a series of autonomic nervous activity rhythm experiments set to be carried out onboard the ISS. The tests will include linking Earth-based medical professionals with the astronauts. They will take place in “Kibo,” which is Japan’s first manned space lab.
“For astronauts to be able to send heart and body sounds in real-time from space with the same sound quality and clarity as if the physician on Earth was in the same room, is a real step forward for telemedicine and for patient care in all areas, especially when we apply this technology in rural and underserved areas,” Ingrid Blair, vice president of patient assessment, 3M Infection Prevention Division stated in the company press release.
3M describes the system like so: “At the patient site, the Scope-to-Scope Software digitally captures heart sound with a state-of-the-art sound sensor, wirelessly transfers the sound to software using the Bluetooth enabled Littmann Model 3200 electronic stethoscope, and sends the sound across the Internet securely. At the consultant site, the sound is delivered to the eartips of the consultant who hears the patient’s internal sounds as if the patient were in the room.”
In mid-Novemeber last year 3M first unveiled the Littmann Scope-to-Scope Tele-Auscultation System, which enables physicians to remotely listen to patients. According to 3M: “Using Bluetooth connectivity, the system transfers in real time audio gathered on one Littmann Model 3200 stethoscope to another anywhere in the world.”
That should now include those orbiting this world, too. Keep reading>>