Army tests new stethoscope using Doppler—not sound

09/20/2012

A novel stethoscope using Doppler technology comparable to police radar is under evaluation by the U.S. Army as a way to save soldiers' lives on noisy medical evacuation helicopters.

In normal stethoscopes, health care professionals listen to a patient's heart or lungs. They're useless when noise levels exceed 90 dBA. That's a problem for emergency medical personnel on helicopters and ambulances.

The U.S. Army's Aeromedical Research Laboratory in Ft. Rucker, AL issued a request for a technical solution in an effort to save soldiers' lives.

A contract research firm in Linthicum Heights, MD, specializing in electromechanical devices went to work on the problem and developed a solution using a combination of sophisticated electronics, sensors, signal conditioning, and 2 MHz Doppler technology to detect physiologic activity. It is a self-contained handheld unit and can run for days without new batteries....
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