The invention herein disclosed comprises a new digital stethoscope that, synchronously, measures phonocardiographic (PCG), electrocardiographic (ECG), inertial measurement unit (IMU) and functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) signals using a standard electronic stethoscope or a purpose-built device.
Digital stethoscopes are well established in the medical devices scenario but usually they rely solely in acoustic data acquisition, namely Phonocardiography (PCG). Some approaches integrate also Electrocardiography (ECG), albeit modifying the standard form factor of the stethoscope. This invention proposes to integrate ECG and fNIRS data acquisition in the form factor of a standard stethoscope. This last technology is already being used to check, for example, brain oxygenation. Additionally, it also possesses an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to account for changes in the placement of the device, which could affect the output ECG signal due to the different positioning in relation to the electrical axis of the heart. This invention can open a new approach to the evaluation of cardiopathies and potentially save lives.
This device allows to combine four analysis technologies - PCG, ECG, IMU and fNIRS -in a standard electronic stethoscope, with high reliability in signal acquisition.
This device can be used in heart disease diagnosis and in the implementation of telemedicine and home hospitalization programs.