The Stethoscope Solution Audiologist can now offer Medical Professionals


NOTE: at the time this blog post was written, the Audiologists Choice Bluetooth Amplified Stethoscope demonstrated promise as a viable stethoscope solution for hearing instrument wearers; performance issues (see July 10, 2013 post) warranted the need to offer more reliable product solutions. 

 

doctorsMedical professionals who are wearers of hearing instruments often experience challenges performing auscultation since the hearing instruments often preclude the use of standard acoustic or electronic stethoscopes.  Until recently, viable options were limited to the use of aesthetically unappealing oversized-headphones, uncomfortable adapters (stethomate tips) associated with limited success, or the need to concede to forgoing the use of hearing instruments during auscultation.  Audiologists finally have a solution in the form of the Audiologist’s Choice Amplified Stethoscope for patients employed in the medical field.

The Audiologist’s Choice Amplified Stethoscope is designed to wirelessly transmit heart and lung sounds directly to the communication devices (i.e. streamer) that accompany  most hearing instruments. The streamer, in turn, delivers body sounds directly to the hearing instruments.  The Audiologists’s Choice Amplified Stethoscope has been successfully paired during field trials to the Phonak iCom, Siemens miniTek, Widex M-DEX and Hansaton i-com2 (NOTE: this does not represent an exhaustive list of hearing instruments that will work wirelessly with the Audiologist’s Choice Bluetooth Electronic Stethoscope).  Designed primarily for use with hearing instruments accompanied with wireless streamers, an audio-in cable is packaged with the device in the event the amplifier of the stethoscope will not successfully pair with the streamer.  The audio-in cable may be used to connect the amplifier to the streamer, permitting wireless communication of body sounds from the streamer to the hearing instruments. For more information, contact Oaktree Products in St. Louis at 800.347.1960 and ask for customer service; if you prefer, send an e-mail to otp@oaktreeproducts.com or check out the Audiologist’s Choice Amplified Stethoscope via www.oaktreeproducts.com.

About A.U. Bankaitis

Audiologist & Vice President of multi-line distributor serving Audiology & hearing healthcare industry
This entry was posted in Amplified Stethoscopes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to The Stethoscope Solution Audiologist can now offer Medical Professionals

  1. Ike Valdez says:

    I have many nurse patients with high frequency hearing loss who wear open- ear RIC hearing aids. Will there be a limitation for them to hear low frequency sounds through the amplified Bluetooth stethoscope?

    Thanks, Ike Valdez

    • aubankaitis says:

      Assuming the open ear RIC has a streamer, this device should be able to pair to the streamer. in terms of low frequencies, it will be necessary to set a low frequency program to enable your patient to hear the low frequency lung and/or heart sounds during auscultation. if you click on VIABLE OPTIONS in the blog post, it will take you a text based course (a written article) on amplified stethoscopes that covers programming considerations in more detail. I hope this helps.

  2. Danielle Rastetter says:

    What about with cochlear implants?

    • aubankaitis says:

      Danielle,
      great question! Right now, the only option for cochlear implant users is to pursue a modified version of the E-Scope II designed specifically to interface with the speech processor. If you need more specific information, let me know and i can forward you more info via e-mail.

  3. Christie says:

    What about USB connection to devices that can’t pair with the stethoscope? Can you attach it using a USB connection?

    • aubankaitis says:

      The audio-in cable that is packaged with the stethoscope is not compatible with USB. The cable is 3.5 to 3.5 cable. That is used to hard-wire connect the amplifier to the streamer, permitting wireless communication of body sounds from the streamer to the hearing instruments.

  4. pramod says:

    I AM USING A STARKEY WIFI HEARING AID,,IS THIS STHETOSCOPE COMPATIBLE TO ITS BLUETOOTH AND WILL I GET THIS PRODUCT IN INDIA AND LET ME KNOW THE COST AS WELL INCLUDING MAIL CHARGES-ishwarhospital@yahoo.com

    • aubankaitis says:

      at this time, it does not seem to work with Starkey hearing instruments

      • Micwin says:

        Odd, since the Starkey SurfLink streamer uses standard Bluetooth interface.

      • aubankaitis says:

        just because something is bluetooth does not mean it will pair with another item as there will be compatibility issues between different products in terms of what version of Bluetooth they support.

        The other thing to keep in mind is that the AC Scope does come with a connector that allows the user to hardwire the stethoscope to the streamer….not wireless transmission from the AC scope to streamer but it should still stream info from the streamer to the hearing instruments wirelessly

      • discpad says:

        Dr A. U.: Do you know specifically which 802.15.4 device profile the Audiologist’s Choice Amplified Stethoscope advertises itself as? Also, how backwards compatible is the protocol — BT 3.0, 2.2, 2.1?

        Dan Schwartz,
        Editor, The Hearing Blog
        All incoming Facebook friend requests are welcome

      • aubankaitis says:

        The BT device profile incorporated in the AC Scope from a company called CSR, which is one of the biggest BT IC manufacturers. The device is the BlueCore3 MultiMedia single chip Bluetooth system. It complies with Bluetooth v1.2. The AC Scope uses the Hands Free Profile (in master mode) and can connect to devices with the Headset Profile (mono) or the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (D2DP – stereo).

        It is my understanding that devices that use the newer BT versions are backward compatible with the older versions, however, that may not be true for all devices and I just don’t know. Backward compatibility (or lack of) may be something to investigate with the hearing aid companies.

      • discpad says:

        Dr A.U.: I’m going to forward this to Dave Preeves at Starkey. They use FPGA (field programmable gate array) architecture, so they can probably issue a bugfix in a firmware upgrade service release~

    • pramod says:

      thank u for your reply. i am now thinking of buying resound alera or verso model along with phone clip+ and mini mic.will it be compatible with your blutooth stethoscope.since ihave to use bilateral cic hearing aid whether blutooth stethoscope will be useful or not .does theis blutooth have a audio port and can it be connected to any smartphone or p.c like amplified stethoscopes eg thinklabs or jabes. thanking u.

  5. Atul Khurana says:

    Just verifying the stethoscope is compatible with the Oticon streamer? Where can I locate the price and return policy?

    • aubankaitis says:

      Oaktree Products sells directly to the audiologist or hearing instrument specialists as the use of this stethoscope will require programming considerations of hearing instruments as it relates to ausculation and associated hearing loss; if you are not dispensing professional, please contact your audiologist and have them get in touch with Oaktree Products (customer service) 800 347 1960

  6. Callie says:

    If using with an open fit, has it been necessary to use a “closed” or “tulip” type dome to get access to low frequency gain? Thanks, Callie

    • aubankaitis says:

      Callie:
      whatever it is that you need to do to access those ever important low-frequencies so that the user can hear what they need to hear you should try; everyone is different and there doesn’t seem to be any magic bullet out there. Not sure if this helps; if you learn anything while trying to fit your patient, please share. Everyone would benefit from any and all experience and insight. Best of luck. au

  7. discpad says:

    Dr A.U.: Apparently Starkey is having more problems with the SurfLink Mobile: Please see the comments here.

    Dan Schwartz, Electrical Engineer
    E-mail: Dan@Snip.Net
    Editor, The Hearing Blog
    Add me on Facebook

  8. BS says:

    is the stethoscope compatible with the WDH owned – oticon, sonic, bernafon streamer unit

    • aubankaitis says:

      Honestly, not sure. It is possible although if it cannot pair for whatever reason, there is the ability to hard wire it. At this point, it is something that may be worth trying with the understanding that the stethoscope my not work with this particular streamer.

      I wish I had a better answer but I don’t have a definitive one at this time.

    • discpad says:

      Given that the Oticon Streamer is a mature product, and that back in 2009-10 it had several firmware upgrades to address compatibility issues.

      Note that if there are compatibility issues between the Widex M-Dex and AC stethoscope, they cannot be fixed, as the M-Dex is .NOT. flash upgradeable.

      Dan Schwartz,
      Editor, The Hearing Blog
      E-mail: Dan@Snip.Net
      Follow The Hearing Blog on Facebook

      Send me a Friend request on Facebook for my presence for Hearing & Deafness discussions

  9. Kerry McGlynn says:

    Hi!

    Does this pair with mini tek for a Siemens Pure 700 in ear hearing aids? Has it been tried and tested? Also please email me price and shipping info.

    Thank you
    Irish medical student

    • aubankaitis says:

      My recollection is that it does not maintain the pairing mode and there is a need to hard wire it. We have had issues and looking further into it; for now, I would assume that it will work with streamers when hard-wired and not in a bluetooth fashion at this point

  10. Does the AC bluetooth stethescope pair with Unitron hearing aids?

    • aubankaitis says:

      Honestly, not sure. It is possible although if it cannot pair for whatever reason, there is the ability to hard wire it.

      there is much more work that needs to be done to figure out product limitations and while bluetooth is so appealing, there are other stethoscopes (i.e. E-SCOPE II) that can be hard wired to streamers that may be viable solutions. Keep in mind that the optimization of hearing auscultation is also limited by the hearing aid itself…lung/breath sounds and in particular heart sounds are very low frequency and some hearing instruments cut the frequencies off aggressively, making the process of re-learning or learning what one needs to hear that much challenging (on top of the presence of a hearing loss)

  11. Anthony says:

    What size (dimension) is the rectangular Bluetooth transmission component? i.e. does it fit comfortably in one’s pocket? Just considering the portability factor. Looks promising.

    Australian based Doctor

  12. The Audiologists Choice stethoscope pairs properly with the ReSound Phone Clip+ (and by extension, the identical Beltone Direct Phone Link 2.

    On The Other Hand, this device does not work properly with the older Phone Clip, which as I pointed out “here in The Hearing Blog, is a veritable Piece of S#!+.

    Worth noting is that a potentially better solution for ReSound Verso and Alera hearing aid users is to plug it into the Unite Mini Mic: There is an undocumented feature in the Aventa 3.4 software that allows a bass boost to be added to the streamed audio. As we posted, the default setting is for mild boost; and although the additional low frequency emphasis is detrimental for the primary purpose of using it as an assistive device in a noisy venue, in fact for this special case of auscultation, the bass boost can be set to maximum to overcome the low frequency losses from typical earmold acoustics.

    Dan Schwartz,
    Editor, The Hearing Blog
    Follow The Hearing Blog on Facebook
    Send me a Friend request on Facebook for Hearing & Deafness discussions

  13. Wendy Dalgleish says:

    I am a Critical Care nurse and have just had a hearing test (which I failed miserably) rt WRS 88% lt 84% and have been prescribed Phonak Audeo Q7 (rt) and Phonak Audeo (lt). As it is imperative that I be able to hear low pitched chest sounds, and I am investigating options other than retirement. I get it that this site is aimed at a audiologist (and fortunately mine is AWESOME, and is eager to help) but, I need to know if these products are compatible, or do I keep searching for options?

    • aubankaitis says:

      Wendy:
      Feel free to ask your audiologist to contact me directly to discuss options; I will certainly share potential options with you as well, however, I need to stress that involving the audiologist in this process is critical as it may be necessary to reprogram your hearing instruments (and make a few adjustments that may not be intuitive since it will require disregarding your hearing loss to some degree) to a program suitable for ausculatation procedures. There are a few amplified stethoscopes commercially available that can be hardwired (i.e. they will not wirelessly transmit information to your streamer) to a streamer that may work (ThinkLabs and E-Scope). Unfortunately, I currently do not recommend the AC Scope (bluetooth amplified stethoscope) for previous reasons outlined in a recent blog post on that product. It is currently plagued with pairing and transmission issues that have yet to be resolved. In the intermim, have your awesome audiologist contact me at au@Oaktreeproducts.com or to give me a call so we can map out a few potential product solutions. You will have to try a few in order to see what works best.

      • Wendy Dalgleish says:

        Thanks Dr Bankaitis, for getting to me so quickly – very much appreciated!!
        It will be Dr Lisa Macari from Hearing Wellness Center, Windsor ON Canada who calls on my behalf.

    • @Wendy: It would depend on the earmold (eartip?) acoustics; and also somewhat on your audiogram?

      What are your unaided thresholds from your audiogram, starting at 250 Hz (and preferably 125 Hz)?

      Also, why are there two different hearing aids being prescribed?

      Dan Schwartz,
      Editor, The Hearing Blog
      E-mail: Dan@Snip.Net
      Follow The Hearing Blog on Facebook

      Send me a Friend request on Facebook for my presence for Hearing & Deafness discussions

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