Can This Smart Stethoscope Help Athletes in the Future?

When thinking of heart health, most people picture a stethoscope or a Fitbit. The team of Penn ESE Senior Design students behind HeartWare envisioned “a stethoscope that is both wearable and continuously monitoring.” Continuous monitoring can help detect heart murmurs which may arise during exercise, but may be missed during a physical exam. This issue can prove critical to young athletes who may experience sudden cardiac arrest.

The team created the device as an update to a traditional stethoscope, so they designed a custom PCB with WiFi capability. A piezo sensor responds to vibrations while an analog filter eliminates unwanted noise. The data is sent to the cloud where it is refined, and a 2D image is produced that can be analyzed by AI.

As current stethoscopes don’t offer continuous data, future uses for HeartWare are impressive. Possibilities include data insights for the medical field, a bio-metric for security, and a simplified way to check in on patients that require extra care. Here at Penn, the team has already received the Honorable Judge Harold Berger Award for this project. For more information about this project, check out DevPost. Congratulations to Johnathan Chen, Jason Schwartz, Jared Winograd, and Matthew Wolfman. We look forward to your next steps in helping athletes.