Digital Stethoscope is a modern technology device that transforms acoustic sound into electronic signals, which further can be amplified for ideal listening. Electronic signals can be further digitalized and processed to transmit them in to a laptop or personal computer. The digital stethoscope consists of three different modules i.e. data acquisition, pre- processing, and signal processing. Data acquisition model consists of piezoelectric sensor and microphone. This module is responsible for buffering, amplification, and filtering of auscultated sounds whereas it is also responsible for conversion of acoustic sound to digital signal. Pre-processing module is responsible for filtering digital signals to remove any artifacts. Signal processing module helps in packaging of information in high order classification and helps in clustering of the data for a diagnostic decision. Currently available digital stethoscopes allows user to select different frequency response modes, which allows listener to efficiently examine 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 helps to stream heart sounds on smart phones as well.
Digital Stethoscope Market Drivers:-
Advancement in technology such as development of electronic stethoscope with Bluetooth wireless capability is expected to be one of the major drivers of growth of digital stethoscope market. Digital stethoscopes offer various advantages as compared to the manual stethoscopes. One of the major advantages is that digital stethoscopes have the ability to amplify sounds, as well as observe the received sounds on a visual display. Some Stethoscopes are also capable of recording and replaying the captured video or audio, which helps practitioners or physicians to maintain patients’ medical data. A new product, Steth IO has been launched by Steth IO, a U.S.-based company, in April 2018. Steth IO is a smart phone based digital stethoscope. It can be used exclusively on iPhones (module 6 and above). This device helps doctor to listen and also measure heart rates or lung sounds just by operating an app on phone and by placing it close to the patient’s chest. This device was approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016. This product does not require batteries or chargers as it draws power directly from the iPhone. This device also helps physicians to keep a record of the patient’s medical data, add flag clips, or notes within the recordings.
Other factors such as increasing number of patients suffering from cardiovascular disorders, improved diagnosis due to advantages provided by digital stethoscope, and increasing awareness among population regarding use of digital stethoscope are expected to boost growth of the digital stethoscope market. According to a study conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, in the U.S. around 735,000 people are suffering from cardiovascular disorders, which is in turn fueling growth of the market.
However, high cost of the digital stethoscope as compared to conventional stethoscope may 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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