3M launches world’s first bluetooth stethoscope


my-childhood-daysCan you guess my favorite game during childhood?  If you guessed, doctor-doctor, then you are right.  I was the one with plastic stethoscope around my neck, which had a shiny disk in the end.  I use to examine the other person playing with me and put stethoscope on his/her chest (like anything is going through that plastic) and say you have fever. I laugh at it now, just thinking inanity of me to diagnose fever by so called listening to heart beat.


If somebody asks you about a question related to doctor, the most common image comes to mind is of a man with white coat and stethoscope around his neck.  Stethoscope has been around for ages and doctors use it in aid of diagnosing certain diseases and conditions. The stethoscope has ablility to selectively transmit certain sounds, thereby helps doctors to monitor internal body health.  You would be amazed to know the interesting history and latest development in stethoscope sector.


When was stethoscope invented and how did it progress?

Laennec's stethoscopeStethoscope was invented in 1816 when a young French physician named Rene Theophile Hyacinthe Laennec was examining a young female patient. Laennec was embarrassed to place his ear to her chest (immediate Auscultation), which was the method of auscultation used by physicians at that time.  He rolled up 24 sheets of paper, placed one end to his ear and the other end to the woman’s chest. He was delighted with the discovery that the sounds were not only conveyed through the paper cone, but were also loud and clear.  As time went on many other stethoscopes were developed and made from different materials such as various woods (pine, ebony, cedar), metallic wire tubing, gutta-percha, ivory, metal, India rubber etc. 



Then after hundreds of years, electronic stethoscope came into the existence.  Electronic Stethoscope was the next major development in stethoscope design that appeared in 1980.  The major feature of an electronic stethoscope is that it overcomes the low sound levels by electronically amplifying body sounds.


As we know in today’s time our nation is focused on leveraging technology to improve healthcare efficiency.  Recently 3M launched stethoscope of 21st century, 3M(TM) Littmann(R) Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 which is a latest entry in the series of 3000 Model.


What are the main features of Littmann(R) Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200?


  • SthethoscopeIt is a next-generation auscultation device featuring “Bluetooth” technology that wirelessly transfers heart, lung and other body sounds to software for further analysis.
  • This launch represents a breakthrough in computer-aided auscultation that has the potential to reduce unnecessary referrals.
  • It will help clinicians detect pathologic heart murmurs earlier in the treatment cycle.
  • It will enable healthcare providers to confirm diagnoses.
  • Help in easily gathering a second opinion from colleagues. 


Which companies partnered with 3M for software development?


3M partnered with Connecticut-based Zargis Medical to develop two companion software packages exclusively for the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200. Specifically:


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    argis(R) Cardioscan(TM)
    software easily pairs with the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 to guide the clinician through four main cardiac sites, then after approximately one minute, indicates whether or not the patient possesses a suspected diastolic or systolic murmur–and whether or not the murmur is suspected to be a Class I indication for echocardiography referral.


  • Zargis StethAssist(TM) software, included with the Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200, allows clinicians to visualize heart, lung and other body sounds, play recordings at slow speeds to hear more clearly, and save recordings for comparison to future auscultations.


  • StethAssist and Cardioscan recordings and related patient notes are stored electronically and can also be sent to colleagues for a second opinion.


Features of 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3000 (Ambient Noise Reduction technology) littmann_electronic_stethescope


3M’s Ambient Noise Reduction technology reduces distracting room noise by an average of 75% without eliminating critical body sounds. This stethoscope is uniquely equipped to help you pick up difficult-to-hear heart, lung and other body sounds. Major features are as follows:

  • Amplification is up to 18 times greater than the best non-electronic stethoscopes.
  • Ambient Noise Reduction (ANR) technology.
  • Programmable volume settings.
  • Automatic power shut down after 3 minutes from last button activation.
  • Traditional cardiology tube set allows stethoscope to easily fold and be placed in pocket.
  • Single AAA alkaline battery provides up to 200 hours (approximately 6 months) of use. Auditory low battery warning.
  • Sound quality remains within specification after auditory low battery warning.
  • Ergonomic, one-button control allows you to adjust volume and frequency mode with
    one finger.
  • 2 years Warranty 


Before reading 3M latest launch of Electronic Stethoscope model 3200, I knew only general type of stethoscope.  I never knew that stethoscope can be of various types as all stethoscopes look same to me.  Now stethoscopes are available not only in various shapes, colors, designs but with new technology for specific segment such as cardiology, respiratory, pregnancy checkup.



11 Responses

  1. RishiG says:

    I used the Littmann electronic stethoscope – it is great at lowering ambient noise. The Zargis software is promising, but my first priority for students is that they learn to use their ears. We recommend a Littmann CD or http://www.easyauscultation.com

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