A team of researchers from Western University have developed an open-source, clinically validated template for a 3-D printed stethoscope, which can be used in areas of the world with limited access to medical supplies. In war torn or low-income communities where resources are limited, a stethoscope could mean the difference between life and death.
The first of its kind, the stethoscope was made using free open source software to keep costs low and allow others to easily access the code. Using the template, the device can be made in less than three hours and costs less than $3 to produce. In addition, it has demonstrated to have the same acoustic quality as the best stethoscopes on the market.
The team was led by Tarek Loubani, associate professor at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, associate scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and an emergency room physician at London Health Sciences Centre, who has spent time working as an ER physician in hospitals in Gaza.
The stethoscope is currently in clinical use by physicians and allied health professionals in Gaza and is also in clinical trials at the London Health Sciences Centre, in London, Ontario.
For more information, visit Western University News.