The Glia open source stethoscope is research-validated to operate as well as a Littmann Cardiology III, but can be produced using 3D printed parts for a fraction of the price.
The iconic stethoscope is a simple instrument that has undergone little innovation in design or fabrication for decades. Despite this, the Littmann Cardiology IV, widely regarded as the field’s gold standard, still costs several hundred dollars. This cost is a barrier in rich and poor countries alike. In urban areas in the developed world, allied professionals such as nurses and paramedics are often unable to afford premium stethoscopes. Rural areas experience similar pressures due to lack of availability of niche items like medical devices. In the developing world, stethoscopes are often a luxury item and many professionals in hospitals and medical centres have never used them.
The stethoscope is delivered as a kit of parts to be assembled by the user. See https://glia.org/stethoscope for more information.
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