Sparrow BioAcoustics (Sparrow) has secured approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its smartphone stethoscope.

The Breakthrough Software as a Medical Device (SaaMD) approval has been granted for the Stethophone software, which enables smartphones to be used as medical stethoscopes.

Using advanced acoustic processing, the downloadable Stethophone application offers sensitive cardiac and pulmonary listening capabilities to smartphones.

Heart and lung sounds can be captured by placing a smartphone on a patient’s chest. The software helps avoid the use of additional devices.

Stethophone can be used to capture, analyse and share data related to cardiovascular and pulmonary sound.

Sparrow BioAcoustics CEO Mark Attila Opauszky said: “Our goal is to enable large-scale, rapid detection of cardiac and pulmonary symptoms, wherever they occur.

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“There is a world of diagnostic information contained in chest sounds and the healthcare system needs a practical way to capture this data and put it to work for the benefit of patients. Stethophone eliminates the main obstacles to doing that.”

According to the company, 70% of medical professionals rated Stethophone as superior in diagnostic sound performance compared to other devices in trials carried out at Eastern Health Medical Centre of Newfoundland.

Furthermore, Stethophone exhibited significantly superior performance in correctly diagnosing heart pathologies and normal heart conditions.

Sparrow BioAcoustics co-founder Dr Yaroslav Shpak said: “Stethophone captures gallops, murmurs and arrhythmias indicative of numerous progressive cardiac diseases.

“Heart and lung sounds provide fast and exceptionally rich diagnostic information, enabling early detection and quicker treatment.”