What options are currently available to hearing instrument wearers who use a stethoscope? Removing hearing instruments prior to using a stethoscope is certainly an option although not necessarily the most ideal solution. In the absence of a commercially available Bluetooth stethoscope, consider the following solutions for medical professionals who want to keep their hearing instruments in the ears during auscultation procedures. For custom hearing instrument wearers, option one involves replacing traditional stethoscope earpieces with special adapters called stethomate tips. Option two involves having special earmolds designed to interface with CICs or ITCs, serving as an interface between the hearing instruments and the stethoscope earpieces. Option three entails investing in a modified version of the E-Scope II amplified stethoscope specifically designed to interface with custom hearing instruments via headphones.
The primary option for traditional BTE wearers also involves the modified E-Scope II with a pair of headphones. Rather than headphones, another option involves interfacing the modified E-Scope II to BTEs via direct audio input (DAI) or, in the presence of a t-coil, an induction earhook. For open fit or RITE BTE wearers, any commercially available, stand-alone stethoscope may work without special modifications or accessories. The other viable option in this instance is to go the E-Scope II route with the use of headphones instead of traditional earpieces. For more detailed information, access the article by A.U Bankaitis on Amplified Stethoscope Options for Professionals with Hearing loss from AudiologyOnline.