THE Royal Derby Hospital is the first hospital in the world to use the new Littmann ‘Listen-In’ Bluetooth stethoscope system, developed by 3M.
This new system allows multiple doctors and students to listen simultaneously to the same patient’s heart, lung and body sounds by connecting up to five electronic stethoscopes. One acts as the lead stethoscope, directly capturing digital heart and lung data and then instantly transmits this via Bluetooth to up to four ‘listening’ stethoscopes.
Using this technology is better for the patient as they only need to be examined once, and for doctors they can here the same sounds at the same time, therefore avoiding any unnecessary delays to patient care.
A chance meeting between Dr Will Carroll, consultant paediatrician at the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital – based at the Royal Derby Hospital – and 3M during a respiratory conference in 2010 led to Dr Carroll being involved in the trial of this new system.
Dr Will Carroll said: “Whether diagnosing a heart defect in a newborn or discovering a life-threatening rumble in a elderly man’s abdomen, I think all clinicians can relate to that surge of excitement we feel when we discover something that we could use to help a patient.
“This new technology is proving extremely helpful when teaching students and on ward rounds as stethoscopes can now be linked together avoiding several doctors examining a poorly child repeatedly. This is so crucial for respiratory signs which can change from minute to minute in young children.”
Ian Kent, 3M Littmann business manager, said: “Our unique system allows medical students and junior doctors to benefit from the knowledge and skills of a senior clinician, helping them to learn correct patient examination technique and interpretation of body sounds.
“Digital technology is helping the NHS to transform patient care and we’re grateful for Dr Carroll’s support for the Listen-In system.”