Your doctor can tell you a lot about your health by listening to your heart.
A healthy heart should have a regular “lub-dub” sound and no murmurs. This can be checked using an instrument that basically represents all doctors: the stethoscope.
The standard stethoscope
The standard stethoscope that has been in use for over 200 years is made up of three parts: the headset, which the physician plugs into the ears to amplify the sound of the heart, the chestpiece, which is placed on the patient’s chest, and the diaphragm, which allows the physician to hear the sounds and frequency of the heart.
Why do doctors listen to the heart?
A physician can use their trusty stethoscope to listen for abnormalities that may indicate the need for a change in the patient’s routine, or, in extreme cases, emergency care. Here are some of the abnormalities that your doctor can detect by listening to your heart:
- A narrow valve. Every valve produces a distinct murmur sound. Physicians will listen for this murmur to determine if a valve is malfunctioning, and if so, which one.
- Valve leakage. A leaky valve is identified by a “whooshing” sound. Doctors can use different “whooshes” between “thuds” to determine which valve is leaking and how much blood is flowing.
- Arrhythmias. Also known as “abnormal heart rhythms”, arrhythmias indicate that your heart is beating too slowly, too quickly, or irregularly.
A heart exam conducted by a doctor can reveal warning signs and symptoms that can be important for monitoring your overall health, providing an accurate diagnosis, writing prescriptions, and, in extreme cases, saving lives.
Does telehealth prevent physicians from hearing hearts?
With the advent of telehealth, many patients have opted to consult with their doctors virtually — no stethoscope included. In many types of telehealth platforms, the doctor will have to make an assessment without the benefit of physical exam data other than perhaps the patient’s temperature since almost everyone has, and is able to use, a thermometer. Although telehealth can save patients from the nuisance and possible viral dangers of a trip to the doctor’s office if their situation merits diagnostic analysis, telehealth will often seem like a second fiddle to in-person doctor visits.
Enter — the virtual stethoscope
Nonagon’s N9+ is a portable, yet powerful telehealth instrument with measuring equipment to conduct physical exams. Apart from the built-in stethoscope, which enables you to capture the sounds of your heart, lungs, and stomach, the N9+ device also has an otoscope for inspecting the ears, mouth, and throat in high definition, an oximeter for measuring pulse and oxygen levels, and a thermometer for measuring body temperature.
For proper diagnosis, patients share the results of their virtually conducted exams directly with their doctor through a user-friendly app (where data is easily integrated into physicians’ and HMOs’ existing software systems). This allows patients to communicate with their doctors in two modes: Real-Time Mode, which makes it possible to connect with a physician via video call and Self-Paced Mode, which allows the patient to collect their physical exam data whenever they want to and share it with the physician who will review that data and respond.
Nonagon uses advanced technology, making primary and pediatric care available to the public in a way that many telehealth solutions cannot. It can be used for an entire family or household, whether the patients are children or elderly, dealing with chronic or acute conditions, or just seeking a simple checkup.
To learn more about the health care advantages of Nonagon, visit Nonagon Website