After listening to a patients' heart and lung sounds, many specialists will write a note describing what they heard in the electronic medical record. The problems with that include:
• These annotations can be hard to read by the next doctor, like a primary care physician. That can lead to unnecessary and expensive procedures.
• It's also almost impossible for a doctor to listen to heart sounds from when a patient was younger and/or healthier to understand the progression of a disease.
Eko, maker of a digital stethoscope, is experimenting with embedding these sounds into a patient's record via a partnership with a vendor called drChrono. It's still limited, as the pilot is only under way at Direct Urgent Care in Berkeley, CA. But Bellet hopes to expand into more hospitals and clinics in the coming months.