In a last decade, medical devices such as – Digital Thermometer, Glucometer and BP Monitor has become household instrument and unlike time of 80s or 90s where people need to visits doctors and hospitals for routine checkup and diagnoses people now are using these digital devices more often without leaving home. However one such medical instrument — Stethoscope, is yet to become a household device.
From 1816 to 2016, it has been two centuries since the stethoscope was invented to help the mankind. In its 200 years of survival, from being a simple wooden pipe to what it is now, the device has undergone several changes. And now, a Bengaluru based startup is bringing the stethoscope to everyone’s home by inventing a Smart Stethoscope called the Taal.
Invented by a two-year-old startup MUSEinc, the Taal is a low-cost, highly functional digital stethoscope, that aims to improve the quality of diagnosis, and reduce the time that is currently required to measure cardiovascular parameters among many other possible applications. The device consists of a circular hardware device, that is paired with a smartphone app and can function across species from cats to humans.
Even today, a majority of the doctors make a choice between electronic and acoustic stethoscopes. Though Taal isn’t the first digital stethoscopes to hit the market, what makes it different from others is the fact that MUSEinc team has inserted a processor that enables automation of the calculation of the heart rate and recording of other sounds from within the body.
Founded in 2014 by Arvind Badrinarayanan and Sumukh Mysore, MUSEinc is a medical device startup aims to produce advanced, affordable and customizable devices for a variety of needs.
The startup is in the final stages of development and testing of the Taal digital stethoscope which the startup claims to be the most affordable and effective device of its kind in the world.
The startup has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for Taal to raise USD 50,000 and till writing this article it has raised $4,625 USD from 65 backers.
Designed to be used by both medical professionals and patients, the device gives its users graphical representation of heart waves on the mobile, and allows them to send it to doctors. This means, a patient wouldn’t require any additional training in order to understand what he/she is hearing from the stethoscope’s earplugs.
Taal hasn’t only become a hit in its home country India, but has also found takers abroad. According to the startup, a couple of doctors in the US are already using the device.
Taal can be of great help to doctors in remote areas for getting a second opinion, or come to a better diagnosis with help from hospitals in bigger cities.
Locally made in Bengaluru, Taal’s innovators for now wish to keep the technology in the open source. The device even comes with a long, rechargeable battery life of up to 24 hours.
Here are some of other features that makes Taal stand out.
- Compact Size- Taal says goodbye to the decades old rubber tubes that are a major inconvenience for doctors when carrying about a workplace or travelling. It’s compact design and lightweight makes it convenient enough to even fit into a pocket.
- OLED Display- Taal comes with an alphanumeric OLED display screen that displays a real-time digital sample of the heart rate. It even shows Taal’s battery status.
- Flexibility of Use- The Taal, with its POGO charging port and Lithium Ion batteries can be used and charged anywhere.
- Audio Filtering- Taal comes with a noise cancelling analog circuit that works towards removing S1 (first heart sound) and S2 sounds from ambient noise, in order to make heartbeats and other internal sounds clearly audible to the users.
- Socially enabled: The Taal even allows its users to record and share sounds with others with the Taal mobile app, or download and email it.
Apart from MuseInc, Cooey is another Bengaluru-based medical device startup that had launched ‘smart’ medical device and its – a Smart Glucometer — a small, pocket-sized device that is portable, connects to a smartphone using the 3.5mm headphone jack and transfers the readings automatically into its mobile app.