Digital stethoscope converts acoustic sound into electronic signals, which can be further amplified for ideal listening. Electronic signals generated by the digital stethoscope can be digitalized and processed and transmitted to a laptop or a personal computer. The digital stethoscope is made up of three different modules namely, data acquisition, pre-processing, and signal processing. Piezoelectric sensor and microphone make up the data acquisition model, which focuses on buffering, amplification, and filtering of auscultated sounds and converts acoustic sound to digital signal. The function of the pre-processing module is to filter the digital signals to remove any artifacts. Signal processing module helps to bundle the data in high order classification and to gather the data for a diagnostic decision. Currently used digital stethoscopes allow users to choose from different frequency response modes, thereby aiding in effective assessment of sounds from lungs, heart, and other body parts. For instance, the 3M Littmann Stethoscopes Range consists of piezoelectric sensor, which helps to reduce ambient noise using adaptive noise canceller and allows amplification of sound up to 24 times. An advanced digital stethoscope also aids in streaming heartbeats on smart phones.
Digital Stethoscope Market Drivers:-
Increasing technological development in digital stethoscope such as electronic stethoscope with Bluetooth wireless capability is expected to be one of the major drivers aiding growth of the digital stethoscope market. Compared to manual stethoscopes, digital stethoscopes offer several advantages such as the ability to amplify sounds, as well as observe the received sounds on a visual display. Moreover, some digital stethoscopes can record and replay the captured video or audio, which further helps to retain patients’ medical data. Key players in the market are focused on launching new products to expand their product portfolio. For instance, in April 2018, Steth IO, a U.S.-based company, launched Steth IO, a smartphone-based digital stethoscope that can be used exclusively on iPhones (module 6 and above). The device can be used to listen and measure heart rates or lung sounds using an app on the phone and by placing it close to the patient’s chest. This device was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016 and does not require batteries as it draws power directly from the iPhone. This device can also help to maintain medical records of the patients, add flag clips, or notes within the recordings.
High prevalence of cardiovascular disorders, improved diagnosis due to advantages offered by digital stethoscope, and growing awareness among the populace regarding the adoption of digital stethoscope are some of the other factors that boost growth of the digital stethoscope market. For instance, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, in the U.S., around 735,000 people were suffering from cardiovascular disorders.
However, high cost of the digital stethoscope as compared to conventional stethoscope is expected to hinder growth of the market.
Digital Stethoscope Market Regional Analysis:-
North America is expected to hold dominant position in global digital stethoscope market, owing to the availability of innovative products in the region. In 2009, the 3M Company, a U.S.-based company launched first electronic stethoscope with Bluetooth wireless capacity. 3M Littman Electronic Stethoscope model 3200 paired with new zargis medical software helps in detecting heart murmurs. Bluetooth technology of this device helps to transfer lungs, heart, and other sounds of the body directly to the software for further analysis. This device consists of 2 software i.e. Zargis Cardio scan software and Zargis Steth Assist Software. Zargis cardio scan software easily pairs with the device to help the doctor diagnose four main cardiac sites, after one minute the device provides report about the patient’s heart condition indicating all the problems observed. Europe is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period, owing to launches of novel products in the region. For instance, in 2015, Ekuore a Spain-based company launched eKuore Pro Stethoscope, a wireless stethoscope. The company also has a product named eKuore stethoscope for hearing loss, which can be used by doctors who are have a problem in hearing or are deaf, as they have hearing aids connected to them.
Digital Stethoscope Market Key Players:-
Major players operating in digital stethoscope market include Eko Devices, FarmaSino Pharmaceuticals, Contec Medical Systems, Qufu Longer Care Meditech Limited, Exanovo Group, Think Labs Medical LLC, Sensi Cardiac, and 3M. Eko Devices has two digital stethoscope devices named as CORE and DUAL. CORE has 40x sound amplification, which can work with all stethoscopes and delivers loud and clear sound of heart and lungs. DUO is a combination of EKG and electronic stethoscope. It is a portable and hand held device, which provides review of the heart sounds and rhythms in an accompanying software.
Digital Stethoscope Market Taxonomy:-
The global digital stethoscope market is segmented on the basis on technology, end user, and region:
By End User
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