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Ultrasonic stethoscope

Signal process ultrasonic into sonic range
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Not being a doctor I don't know if this would be helpful, but if we have any doctors here I'ld like to hear your opinions.

My understanding of ultasound scanning systems is that they're big, bulky, expensive, and not very portable. This is mainly due to the logic needed to convert the image into a picture (using FFTs I believe).

How about a stethoscope whose business end has an ultrasonic transducer in it, and a signal processing chip to convert from the ultrasonic range to the audio range. Would this give any different or better information than a regular acoustic stethoscope? It could either be passive and listen for ultrasonic sounds generated in the body (if any???) or active by sending out an ultrasonic tone and listening for the echoes. It might have to subtract the outgoing tone from the received sounds to leave only the echoes, otherwise the user would hear a continuous hum. I have a gut feeling (no pun intended) that this would give a better 'picture' of a beating heart than a normal stethoscope - without the paraphenalia of a traditional ultrasound scanner. It may take some training to use competantly, but the same applies to regular stethoscopes.

gtoal, Jan 20 2006

Bat Detector http://www.econvergence.net/batdet.htm
[Dub, Jan 20 2006]

Meidcal Ultrasound http://www.neuroinf...medical/ultrasound/
[Dub, Jan 20 2006]


       First thing I thought was Bat Detectors [Link] - Then the fact that the idea's already baked - Ultrasound has been in hospitals for years...   

       Still a good idea though.
Dub, Jan 20 2006

       It would be a difficult skill to master to work out what there was (dense, hollow, moving etc.) just by listening to the tone.   

       "Funny, I held this machine to your head and just got the 'empty' noise. I wonder why that was?"
dbmag9, Jan 20 2006

       Regular acoustic stethoscopes are pretty lame. There are swanky stethoscopes with amplifiers and you can hear all sorts of stuff. I suspect some of the noises one hears in a heart are the results of sounds generated in the heart and bouncing off other stuff.   

       Audio ultrasound is not an impossibility, but I agree with [dbmag9] - there would be a tremendous amount of listener skill involved to work out structures that are closely apposed.
bungston, Jan 21 2006

       Someone agrees with me? Uh oh.
dbmag9, Jan 21 2006


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