US-based conglomerate 3M has formed a partnership with digital health company Eko to incorporate 3M Littmann stethoscope technology with advanced Eko digital innovations.

Together, the companies will roll out 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope, which is designed to provide both analogue and digital auscultation options to clinicians.

Additionally, it will enable clinicians to better interpret sounds and detect heart murmurs by leveraging Eko’s software and AI algorithms.

The partners said that the 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope will enable amplification and active noise cancellation, and visualisation of sound data during auscultation.

3M Medical Devices senior director Kristi Barnett said: “Today, 3M Littmann Stethoscopes embarks upon a new era in our long history as a pioneer in auscultation innovation and quality by introducing our most advanced stethoscope yet.

“The new 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope combines the superior acoustics of the Littmann Cardiology IV Stethoscope with Eko’s digital technology and software to aid and enhance a clinician’s auscultation assessments.”

In January, Eko secured the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for an algorithm, which identifies the presence of suspected heart murmurs.

The 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope can connect to Eko’s AI and clinical decision support, enabling health providers to screen for heart murmurs during routine physical exams.

The device can also be connected to Eko telemedicine software, enabling improved in-person or remote patient care.

Eko co-founder and CEO Connor Landgraf said: “For clinicians, listening is a gateway to making critical diagnoses. Being able to confidently assess heart and lung sounds helps ensure the best cardiac and pulmonary care possible.

“Partnering with 3M Littmann Stethoscopes allows us to incorporate the power of our digital and machine learning technology alongside the stethoscope trusted by millions of clinicians worldwide, which can help impact patient outcomes and quality of care. Combining the 3M Littmann CORE Digital Stethoscope with the Eko platform of software and AI helps clinicians elevate cardiopulmonary care to a whole new level.”

In July, Eko received a $2.7m Small Business Innovation Research grant for a study that aims to validate algorithms for pathologic heart murmurs and valvular heart disease screening.