A new electronic stethoscope designed for NASA could deliver accurate heart and body sounds to medics assessing astronaut health in a noisy spacecraft.
Space itself is silent; the lack of air prevents sound transmission. But inside the average spacecraft, with its whirring fans, humming computers, and buzzing instruments, it’s about as raucous as a party filled with laughing, talking people.
The prototype of a stethoscope designed for use in the noisy environment of a spacecraft replaces familiar ear buds of a traditional stethoscope with noise canceling headphones. Acoustic tubing gives way to wire and the rubber-covered chest piece includes a suction cup to keep it motionless on the skin.
“Imagine trying to get a clear stethoscope signal in an environment like that, where the ambient noise contaminates the faint heart signal. That is the problem we set out to solve,” says Elyse Edwards, an engineering student at Johns Hopkins University who teamed up on the project with fellow seniors Noah Dennis and Shin Shin Cheng.
Full story at Futurity.
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Photo credit: Will Kirk