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FDA OKs Digital Stethoscope That Streams Heart Sounds to EHR

September 4, 2015
by David Raths
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Eko Core also pairs with Bluetooth-connected mobile app

A new digital stethoscope that can wirelessly stream heart sounds to a HIPAA-compliant smartphone app and directly into the patient’s electronic health record has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance.

The Eko Core from Silicon Valley startup Eko Devices pairs with a Bluetooth-connected mobile app, available on the Apple App Store, to allow clinicians to view a heart sound waveform, save heart sounds directly to a patient’s record and securely collaborate with a cardiologist for a second opinion, the company said.

The University of California, San Francisco’s Department of Cardiology is leading Eko’s ongoing clinical trial and Stanford University Department of Medicine will be the first institution in the country to deploy the device to its internal medicine residents as part of an ongoing institutional pilot.

“The beauty of the Eko Core is that it captures the heart sounds in a streamlined way that has never been done before, interfacing seamlessly into our traditional exam without requiring any extra effort, said John Chorba, M.D., a cardiologist at the UCSF, in a prepared statement.

Eko said it is also developing a decision support algorithm, a “Shazam for Heartbeats,” that will be included with the mobile app after undergoing a separate FDA review and completing trials. Shazam’s co-founders invested in Eko’s $2.8 million funding round alongside Founder & CEO, Michael Baum; Stanford University StartX Fund; and former senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, John Noonan.

Founded in 2013 at the University of California, Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator, the company has been honored with the American Heart Association’s Emerging Health Technology Award and participated in the Stanford University StartX Med and accelerator programs.