The Bang & Olufsen E3000 stethoscope is a pretty slick thing to wrap around your neck.
Of course, when it’s for sale at 3M / Littmann it doesn’t look as impressively sleek (but their catalog of pathological heart and lung sounds is useful). Here’s how the sound filtering is explained:
3M’s proprietary ANR technology acoustically cancels out an average of 75% of distracting room noise. This acoustic canceling out is different than electronic filtering, which may also filter out some important portions of body sounds.
Ambient noise isn’t just in the air; it also travels through the patient’s body. The key to reducing ambient noise is to address both pathways. And ANR does just that without filtering away important sounds. Noise from the room enters the stethoscope through a thin gap in the chestpiece and, once inside, meets noise that enters through the body. The two cancel each other out, leaving heart, lung, and other body sounds you need to hear.
You can save, replay, and download sounds from the stethoscope. No word yet on iPod integration (the iSteth has been rumored for years…)
This award-winning stethoscope is just one medical product that Bang & Olufsen‘s Medicom subsiary has developed (their pill-popper is kinda neat, too).