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Startup's stethoscope adapter gets to the heart of the matter

Stephen Lawson | April 4, 2014
Seeing the latest smartphone makes some people's hearts beat faster. Now there's an app that can hear them.

One challenge for Eko is that there's no prescribed format for audio files in standard medical records systems. The company has incorporated its audio into a few medical records systems that allow for file storage, Landgraf said. It's exploring ways to store the information in the format most commonly used for exporting and sharing all types of medical data, called HL7, he said. Even without audio support, Eko can supply an analysis and an image of the waveforms.

The Eko team is made up mostly of biomedical engineers and computer scientists, though it has a board of advisers with several doctors. The company started developing its product a little more than a year ago, when Landgraf was still an undergraduate biomedical engineering student at the University of California, Berkeley. He's now earning a master's degree. The company has offices about a block away from the campus.

The company has written versions of the app for the iPhone and iPad and expects to have an Android version within about six months, Landgraf said. It has submitted the product to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and expects to have it approved and on the market by September. Presumably, Landgraf has his heart set on it.

 

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