Sunday, July 12, 2020

BYU professors design Bluetooth stethoscope to keep health care practitioners safe amid COVID-19 -- Also helped nursing student who wears hearing aids!

Chia-Chi Teng and Craig Nuttall

Sahalie Donaldson, Deseret News reported:

Chia-Chi Teng, a professor of information technology and cybersecurity at BYU, left, and Craig Nuttall, an emergency nurse practitioner and professor in BYU’s College of Nursing, pose for a photo with their newly designed Bluetooth stethoscope on the BYU campus in Provo on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The device makes it easier and safer for doctors wearing personal protective equipment to take the heart rate of a patient who might have COVID-19. Nuttall holds the device close to his heart and the app on the phone transmits the audio signal of his heart rate to Bluetooth earbuds that Teng is wearing. 

Teng said the device has even helped a BYU nursing student with a hearing disability. She was having trouble in her classes because the clinical stethoscope didn’t work with her hearing aids. Upon reaching out to the professors about the issue, their design was able to connect to her hearing aids making it the “equivalent to an air pod” which “worked like a charm,” Teng said.

The materials for their stethoscope costs under $20 to make.

Both professors emphasized that their design is the world’s to use. They didn’t develop it to make money. The stethoscope’s plans are open sourced and information to make one can be found on GitHub. The accompanying app that allows for live streaming and recording is available on Apple’s TestFlight.

Teng and Nuttall said they hope the design can go on to open doors in telemedicine and improve access to health care in a low cost, sustainable way in any area of the world.

“We want people to use it. We aren’t doing it for our benefit, we are doing it for everyone else’s — especially where COVID is getting really bad right now, especially in Utah and western states,” Nuttall said. “This is needed right? Every single day providers and nurses are making the decision of ‘Do I listen to my patient’s heart and lungs or do I keep myself and my family safe?’ This makes it possible to do both.”

Read more about this stethoscope at: