EHR-compatible stethoscope cleared by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration recently cleared a new breakthrough in health information technology.

Digital device improves workflow 
The agency approved Eko Core, a stethoscope created by San Francisco-based startup Eko Devices. According to Health Data Management, the device can actually send data on a patient’s heart sounds directly to his or her electronic health record file. The source explained that the stethoscope works by wirelessly sending the coronary data to an app that can be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet.

The program is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which means it operates safely and securely when transferring this private information. This data can then be directly transferred to a patient’s EHR. The company argues that this total integration can make medical actions like cardiology referrals, monitoring and documentation more streamlined than ever.

Eko looks toward the future of healthcare 
Currently, the Eko Core is available across the U.S. It’s targeted toward the millions of doctors who use traditional stethoscopes on a daily basis. Eko Devices is also in the midst of performing clinical trials at the University of California, and has partnered with Stanford University Department of Medicine. The latter school will be the first organization to distribute the Eko Core to its residents.

HIT Constultant also revealed that Eko Devices is working on developing what will be known as “Shazam for heartbeats.” Like the musical app Shazam, which identifies songs by title and artist after hearing a few bars, this program would listen to heartbeats and offer physicians advice on what could be causing irregularities. The algorithm for this feature is still being produced and will require its own separate FDA approval before it can be released.


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