Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Scope-to-Scope Tele-Auscultation System

The latest innovation in telemedicine – 3M™ Littmann® scope-to-scope application – allows health care providers to hear actual heart and body sounds in real time, no matter the distance separating the physician and the patient – even if that patient is in space. 3M today announced that the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is using 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 and telemedicine software packages on board the International Space Station (ISS).

Designed with remote applications in mind, the new Scope-to-Scope Tele-Auscultation System allows users to detect body sounds clearly across data networks in real time, from anywhere in the world (or space)with gold-standard sound quality and a simple set-up process that takes only a few minutes to complete. A physician using this new system can even detect difficult-to-hear body sounds as clearly as if he/she were onsite, performing the patient exam themselves.

The full press release is below:

New 3MTM Littmann® Scope-to-Scope TELE-AUSCULTATION Software Transmits from space

First system of its kind used by Japanese Space Program at International Space Station

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 9, 2011 — Designed with remote applications in mind, the 3M™ Littmann® Scope-to-Scope Tele-Auscultation System is finding itself beyond this world, literally, as it is being utilized on-board the International Space Station (ISS) by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Physicians on the ground will be able to hear the actual heartbeat of astronauts in space in real-time utilizing the 3M™ Littmann® Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200 and telemedicine software package.

“It is exciting to see our technology work across the galaxy,” said Ingrid Blair, vice president of patient assessment, 3M Infection Prevention Division. “For astronauts to be able to send heart and body sounds in real-time from space with the same sound quality and clarity as if the physician on Earth was in the same room, is a real step forward for telemedicine and for patient care in all areas, especially when we apply this technology in rural and underserved areas.”

JAXA planned to use the system for coronary tone data collection, as a supporting device for autonomic nervous activity rhythm experiments while on-board the ISS. It will be used as a space medicine experiment device linking Earth and Space with voice and speech utilizing the telemedicine software. The tests will be conducted in “Kibo,” the first Japanese manned space laboratory.

Available in the U.S. since November 2010, the Littmann® Scope-to-Scope Tele-Auscultation System allows clinicians to transfer digitally captured patient sounds in real-time, from one stethoscope to another. In tandem with the innovative Littmann® Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200, the software is transforming the tele-auscultation experience so clinicians can consult with colleagues in real-time, across data networks, anywhere in the world or outer space.

A time and money saver for both healthcare providers and patients, telemedicine has grown rapidly across the United States. More and more physicians and health systems are seeing the benefits of offering their primary services to an even broader population, who wouldn’t otherwise have easy access. A recent study by Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics found that the rapid electronic review of children’s heart images by specialists nearly 200 miles away allowed for earlier diagnosis and treatment of potentially serious pediatric heart problems.

The Littmann® Scope-to-Scope Tele-Auscultation System is currently being used in the U.S.and will be available in Japan in fall 2011. The Littmann® Model 3200 Electronic Stethoscope is currently available in 45 countries around the world, including Japan.

The Littmann® Model 3200 electronic stethoscope features ambient noise reduction technology, which eliminates approximately 85 percent of distracting background noises without filtering out critical body sounds, 24 times the sound amplification even in the most challenging environments, frictional noise reduction technology that reduces handling sounds from the chestpiece, and extended sound range frequency. Paired with the highly performing, reliable and comfortable Littmann® Model 3200, the easy-to-install Littmann® Scope-to-Scope Tele-Auscultation System enables equal access to world-class patient care.

About 3M

3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $27 billion in sales, 3M employs about 80,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more information, visit or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

About 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscopes

3M™ Littmann® Stethoscopes is a global leader in auscultation technology – providing innovative solutions to improve patient care. Littmann stethoscopes are trusted worldwide for precision, acoustical superiority, reliable design and exceptional performance, helping clinicians detect difficult-to-hear body sounds and advance patient care. As part of the 3M Infection Prevention Division, Littmann® Stethoscopes, with its system of people, products and processes, remains a trusted partner committed to helping healthcare personnel improve the ease of detecting difficult to hear body sounds and ultimately, improve patient outcomes.

For more information on 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscopes, please visit

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