In order to timely detect functional disorders in the human body, doctors use various medical devices: stethoscopes. Such diagnostic tools allow you to identify noises in the internal organs, which are characteristic of pathological abnormalities, and take urgent measures in time. Using external stethoscopes is possible, but many of the functions and information they provide are not considered reliable.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) has invented a new stethoscope, which will allow doctors to quickly and accurately identify abnormal bodily functions, and thus stay on top of the condition.
The innovation uses camera technology. Besides detecting sounds, doctors will also be able to evaluate the quality of the sound. This will help them tell if the sound is softer than it should be, or if it is loud and tinny.
“A doctor can identify the shape and volume of the sounds that are being produced by the organs. He can also see if there is distortion when the sound is flowing through the organ. This allows us to quickly determine what is happening inside the body,” according to Prof. Rolf Huber.
The innovation has been called VoiceSync, which was developed by a research team of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ).
The team already developed a simple system of computer vision and artificial intelligence, which allows them to use the quality of sound to evaluate the healthy state of the internal organs. The system uses an algorithm that recognizes the thickness of a surface over which sound is emitted. If the sound is not continuous over the surface, it is considered unhealthy.
“We developed a platform, which allows us to analyze the quality of the sounds emitted by organs. Then, we developed an algorithm that can distinguish healthy from unhealthy sounds,” Prof. Huber explained to the website RTL Télévision.
The development of the platform was carried out at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) with a computer vision system.
The researchers are still working on the VoiceSync system, and the prototype has not yet been developed to a working state. However, according to the report, the system works well, and can already differentiate between healthy and unhealthy sounds from within the lungs.