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Imaging Breakthrough "Sees" Lung Disease 114

Roland Piquepaille writes "According to BusinessWeek, an Israeli startup, aptly named Deep Breeze, has developed a high-tech replacement for the 200-year-old stethoscope. This noninvasive device can draw, in seconds, an image of your lungs by listening to its vibrations. The Vibration Response Imaging (VRI) system could already be used in Israel, Europe and South Korea. Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration approved its introduction in the US. But don't expect to see one of these systems used by your local physician anytime soon. This VRI system will carry a price tag of over $40K."
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Imaging Breakthrough "Sees" Lung Disease

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  • Damn. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Your gunna need some good insurance for that thing to ever save your life.

    America is cold blooded.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That's just silly. 40 grand is cheap for a medical imaging device. In fact the chances are that you will see quick adoption of a device so reasonably priced. (as long as it works as well as advertised)

      MRI machines cost about $2 million each.

      • "That's just silly. 40 grand is cheap for a medical imaging device. In fact the chances are that you will see quick adoption of a device so reasonably priced. (as long as it works as well as advertised) "

        I hear ya, that is nothing money wise...and the business buys it, so it is a write off as a business expense. This would be nothing...I've worked with doctors 15+ years ago that paid over $300K in taxes for personal taxes.....you can imagine the amount of money pulled in to warrant that amount of tax even

      • Note that imaging with sound generated in the lungs naturally is apparently not possible because the source and frequency of the sound cannot be known in advance. The use of the word "Imaging" is apparently fraud.

        The BusinessWeek article says, amazingly, begging the question, "Its sales prospects are not just hot air"

        Notice that, at present, there is no period at the end of that sentence, suggesting that the article received little or no attention from an editor.

        Slashdot has run several stories about companies that had products that they were supposedly trying to bring to market, but which, on close examination, apparently were just methods of collecting investor money, with no real hope of return.

        Roland Piquepaille, the author of the Slashdot story, is apparently paid to get articles in publications an on blogs. There has never been any information, that I know of, about whether he pays someone at Slashdot or Slashdot's parent company. His Slashdot stories apparently never note Mr. Piquepaille's affiliations with the companies being discussed.

        Slashdot has often been scientifically challenged [slashdot.org]. The Slashdot article The Car That Makes Its Own Fuel [slashdot.org] has a +5 moderated First Post that expresses the consensus of the comments on that story.
        • Slashdot might be occasionally scientifically challenged, but you are definitely demonstrating how scientifically challenged YOU are.

          There are already applications that can use signal analysis to determine the origins of sound waves without knowing the initial characteristics of the waves (for instance, mapping the movements of underground fault lines by measuring seismic waves, or determining the location & type of a gun based on its gunshot signature).

          This device sounds like its an additional order of
          • The system cannot do imaging, which is what I said. That is partly because of reflections of sound from differing materials like air, flesh, and bone. It is not possible to know whether a sound that has been received directly, or as a result of a reflection.

            Also, the wavelengths of the sound are far, far to long to allow discrimination of small details.

            You said, "Slashdot might be occasionally scientifically challenged, but you are definitely demonstrating how scientifically challenged YOU are."

    • Actually (Score:5, Insightful)

      by everphilski ( 877346 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @04:02PM (#20161565) Journal
      $40k for medical equiptment isn't bad. Compare it to the cost of a MRI machine, or even a 'low cost' (which is $100k-$200k) x-ray machine. Radiosurgery machines (for cancer) run $3-5 million. Having an accurate diagnosis for $40k is almost cheap by those standards.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Pedrito ( 94783 )
        $40k for medical equiptment isn't bad.

        $40K is chump change. A decent MRI machine costs at least a couple of million dollars. Just starting up the machine can cost $100,000 (you don't turn them off when you're done). Upgrades generally run hundreds of thousands of dollars. More importantly, like x-rays, MRIs and CT-Scanners, not every doctor needs one. A specialist would have it or a radiology center would have it and the doctor sends you there to get the work done, just like x-rays, MRIs and CT scans.

        If th
        • by Pedrito ( 94783 )
          Forgive my bad math. I originally had $100, not $150. So 267 patients to pay off the machine at $150. Of course, you have to consider maintenance and training and other costs, but whatever... I know someone's going to jump on me about the bad math if I don't speak up now...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by roman_mir ( 125474 )
        It's not that expensive, until you realize that the thing it replaces costs like 20 bucks and that the thing it replaces still does more (it listens to sounds and detect various irregularities for example in the heart beat, etc.)
        • Yes, but it offers MORE than a stethoscope. It's not as if this is just a $40,000 stethoscope. And it's not as if it would be difficult or impossible for the doctor to use BOTH tools on you, so your argument about losing functionality is bogus as well.

          This is like saying that an MRI is unlikely to be adopted because the thing it replaces (x-ray machines) are so much cheaper.

          Or that you shouldn't expect anyone to purchase a $10,000 car when they're 16+ because the thing that a car replaces (..a bike..) is $2
    • 40 grand? A modern digital x-ray is around 60. An MRI machine runs over 500 and some nuclear medicine machines run over a million. Heck, our vet has an automated hematology machine that runs around $10K.
  • Is that a lot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:29PM (#20161095) Homepage Journal

    But don't expect to see one of these systems used by your local physician anytime soon. This VRI system will carry a price tag of over $40K.
    Is that really so much money that a local doctor can't afford it? I would expect a GP not to have it, just because he doesn't do enough long-disease screening to cover the cost. Probably the local hospital and a specialist would have it.

    But is $40K a lot as far as medical devices cost? How much is the x-ray machine at the doctor's office, or the ultrasound equipment at the heart specialist?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      From wikipedia: "The [MRI] scanners used in medicine have a typical magnetic field strength of 0.3 to 3 teslas. Construction costs approximately US$ 1 million per tesla, and maintenance an additional several hundred thousand dollars per year." X ray machines are significantly cheaper, but they'd still make $40k seem cheap.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      40K is not a lot for a medical imaging device. I work in an imaging lab, and if anything that is on the cheap side. The higher end CT scanners run well over a quarter of a million dollars, and most of the X-Ray scanners are at least tens of thousands.
    • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:44PM (#20161317) Homepage Journal
      How expensive is it compared to the machine that goes "ping?" [youtube.com]
    • But is $40K a lot as far as medical devices cost? How much is the x-ray machine at the doctor's office, or the ultrasound equipment at the heart specialist?

      Those machines go from $50,000 (xray) to $3,000,000 (CT, Linac, MRI). QC, operators and electricity are also expensive.

      That makes this device sound cheap, but it could be way overpriced if it's nothing more than a microphone hooked to a stethoscope run through some FFTs. In that case, you are paying for a database of frequency signatures. Even if

    • I think that was an editorial remark from someone who doesn't know how much stuff costs. MRI machines cost MILLIONS of dollars.

      I think the idea is that this device is supposed to be CHEAPER than MRI or CT scanning.
    • In the dental imaging practice, the large pano devices (that scan around your entire head) go for $100k, while small sensors (of which a single office would have more than one) cost about $10,000 and regularly need replaced. This is a decent price.
    • Heh, you don't even need to look to imaging equipment to see how much standard medical fair costs. A regular no frills hospital bed with rails 2 articulation points and pneumatic adjustment costs well over 20kUSD.
    • I don't know how much a whole ultrasound machine costs. I do know the company for which I was making just the transducer itself -- the handheld part they put on your stomach (if you're pregnant) or up your butt (if you're unlucky) -- was selling them to the people who made the ultrasound machines for between $5000 and $20,000. One assumes the machine, with all the amplifiers and software and video, probably costs quite a bit more than just the transducer itself.

      So, yes, $40K is pocket change. A family pr
    • is $40K a lot as far as medical devices cost?

      I have no idea, but that's about what they billed me for 5 drops of morphine, 2 bags of saline, 1 bowl of gell-oh (the generic stuff) and some soup which I'm pretty sure was just beige-colored water.
  • Thanks Roland! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You're worth every penny.
  • Expensive? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by knivesx11 ( 1085179 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:29PM (#20161109)
    That really no where near the price of a MRI machine so I'm pretty sure that it is as capable as the article makes it sound than thats not that much to spend. Several hospitals in my area have spent 100+ million in renovations.
    • Re:Expensive? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tgatliff ( 311583 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:47PM (#20161361)
      What I find interesting is that checking lung inhalation capacity is only one small task for a stethoscope. How is imaging the lungs going to help checking for heart valve / murmur problems?

      Meaning, from a marketing standpoint, saying that their product "replaces" the stethoscope is sexy to say, but actually pulling it off is a completely different thing all together...
      • by GeckoX ( 259575 )
        Considering how this tech works, I'd be fairly surprised if they didn't continue on with it to implement exactly those features. There doesn't appear to be any reason why this would only work for lungs. It is after all, an array of microphones...stethoscope is just an amplification device.
        • Yes I agree that they will do this, but the mode of usage is completely different. For example, detected heart murmurs, you listen for "slurps" from turbulent blood flowing/leaking thru the heart. It really is not possible to get this information visually, though, because it would require a very high resolution, in addition to being able to model it eventhough it is moving. X-Ray is useless at this. Magnetic Resonance works well, but even it has a hard time modeling individual heart valves, and quite b
    • $40,000 is not a lot for an MRI, but its a hell of a lot for a stethoscope.
      • A stethoscope that generates imagery, without using radiation, and can accurately diagnose between multiple conditions? It'll pay for itself.
  • $40grand? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by josquint ( 193951 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:30PM (#20161117) Homepage

    But don't expect to see one of these systems used by your local physician anytime soon. This VRI system will carry a price tag of over $40K."

    At $40,000 it may not be around every doctor's neck, but geez just the exam table I sit on and the scale they make me stand on totals a staggering amount. I can't imagine something in the tens of thousands being cost prohibative to the medical field.
    • by lawpoop ( 604919 )
      I don't know the details, but if a doctor in a private practice can afford an $40-80K vehicle drawing a salary from the practice, certainly the practice can afford a $40K+ machine as an expense, when it's making money off of it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )

      I can't imagine something in the tens of thousands being cost prohibative to the medical field.
      If insurance companies refuse to cover it, very few Doctors & hospitals will buy it.

      It really is that simple.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Doctor Memory ( 6336 )

        If insurance companies refuse to cover it, very few Doctors & hospitals will buy it.

        If it can eliminate the need for sending patients out for chest X-rays[0], the HMOs will mandate it. Hell, I can see them refusing to pay for a chest X-ray or MRI if you haven't been checked out on one of these first. If all it takes is the electricity to run it, some saline gel for the electrodes/transponder/whatever and an annual maintenance contract, this thing will save money hand over fist in some areas.

        [0] Obviously not all patients, but (say) 30-50% of those who come in complaining of shortness of

  • Cost vs need (Score:5, Insightful)

    by east coast ( 590680 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:37PM (#20161203)
    The real question is how often will this be used? Not every doctor is going to need this as, it seems, this is going to start out as a specialist item. Your local hospital may only have need for one of these things in the long run.

    In any case this is a good step forward and I'm glad to hear about it...

    Now, where did I put that pack of Camels???
    • Most medical tests are not run because theres a need, but because the test is available and it is run as an extra screening tool.

      A significant number of xrays and blood tests are run "just to make sure", not because a problem is expected.

      If one of these lung viewers was available you can be sure it would get used to check out coughs and all sorts of complaints "just to make sure" and would find its way into medical examinations too.

      • by hesiod ( 111176 )
        > A significant number of xrays and blood tests are run "just to make sure", not because a problem is expected.

        An even more significant number are run because the doctor believes your insurance will cover it even if it's unrelated to your current problem.
    • These could actually be profitable for a practice, depending on how long they take to complete a scan. As part of an annual physical, these could add very little cost to the visit, and insurance companies may be enthusiastic about approving them if they can pick up on serious diseases more quickly. I'm not sure how many patient visits a doctor has each year, but if it's around 5000, and only 10% of them use this, the basic purchase cost could be paid back at less than $20 per visit. I'd be willing to chi
    • where did I put that pack of Camels?

      Camels come in herds and not packs.
      They are definitely fatal [snopes.com].

    • > Your local hospital may only have need for one of these things in the long run.

      "I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers" - Thomas Watson, IBM Chairman, 1943
    • The real question is how often will this be used?

      The real question is how useful it is. What we've seen from Rolands Silly Little Blurb is a breathless (pun intended) "improvement" on a classic diagnostic tool. I don't care how clever it is. I don't care really how much it costs. I do care if it is more accurate that traditional methods of diagnosing lung illness. If it isn't, it is worthless.

      Color me cynical, as usual, but it isn't hard to diagnose asthma, pneumonia and most other lung diseases wit

      • Color me cynical, as usual, but it isn't hard to diagnose asthma, pneumonia and most other lung diseases with a combination of a stethoscope and plain x-ray.

        Stone knives and bear skins. The "plain x-ray" is both expensive and time consuming. Not to even mention the potential harm from radiation exposure.

        It just seems that everyone on slashdot is waiting for the total cure in a pill kind of medical breakthrough and these things don't happen often enough for us to spend our lifetime waiting around for it t
  • Costs (Score:4, Informative)

    by Da3vid ( 926771 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:37PM (#20161209)
    I can tell you that radiology/cardiology and a lot of the imaging modalities is really where hospitals make a lot of their bucks. I'm actually a medical consultant. While I don't work with the machines much at all, I work with getting properly trained staff out at the places. I get the impression that a lot of the machines are in the quarter to half million dollar range. I can tell you that an ultrasound technologist can make quite a few pretty pennies :) The good ones can get into the 6 figures easily annually. Hospitals rely on them so much that when they're short handed, they're willing to pay $50 to $100 dollars per hour for long extended periods (3-12 months at a time) to make sure they have someone running their machines.
    • ...they're willing to pay $50 to $100 dollars per hour for long extended periods

      'cause they charge each and every patient 10x that for their time :-)

      Though I doubt it will cost you $500-$1000 if a doctor really spends an hour on you---likely much much more.
      • by JDevers ( 83155 )
        He isn't talking about a doctor, just an ultrasound tech.
      • Re:Costs (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Da3vid ( 926771 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:54PM (#20161449)
        I'd say for ultrasound, the average would be to have a patient scheduled every 30 minutes. Also, a lot of people don't realize it... but you don't even need a bachelor's to be an ultrasonographer. Its an associate's degree.
        • by hesiod ( 111176 )
          > You don't even need a bachelor's to be an ultrasonographer

          Yup. Operating most diagnostic imaging equipment is extremely simple... as long as you're not the one trying to determine what something means. Heck, most new CT and MRI setups have a preprogrammed voice telling the patient what to do for each study, so all the tech has to do is position them initially, watch to make sure they are OK, and push some buttons.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by vigmeister ( 1112659 )
        My last visit to the hospital: $866 for 25min spent in the hospital. Doctor's consultation itself was probably 3-4min. The fire dept took me there and 2 nurses from the hospital spent a total of about 10 min collecting my personal information, moving a stand to hold the IV pouch and getting me some Gatorade.

        • The fire dept took me there

          That'd explain it. Emergency response.
        • my last ambulance ride was around $400 if I recall, and I wasn't on any special devices or in cardiac arrest or anything- just an uncomfortable ride strapped to a board. (car accident).
          • Does the fire dept. charge your for 911 calls?

            Oddly enough, they required me to explicitly consent to being taken to a hospital even though my blood pressure was dangerously low and people had to pinch me and put ice on me to keep me conscious. Weird.

            • by hesiod ( 111176 )
              > Oddly enough, they required me to explicitly consent to being taken to a hospital

              I believe that is because they are the Fire Dept and not EMTs. EMTs don't necessarily require your consent (although they can't force you, AFAIK).
  • A state-of-the-art MRI or CT scanner cost upwards of $5 million. $40,000? Easily within the reach of even your local general practitioner.

    But using sound to create an image? This is exactly what an ultrasound does.
    • Brilliant statement, by the way... Now if only you could consult the investors on this... :-)

    • Yes, but an ultrasound machine generates the soundwaves. The same thing goes for sonar. The VRI device analyzes soundwaves generated by the lungs themselves, such as with wheezing. The VRI device's pricetag ($40,000 to $50,000) is comparable to that of its high-end ultrasound counterparts. When implementations of VRI are more common (read: the technology is proven and available from multiple vendors), expect the price to drop considerably.

      From TFA:

      Kushnir's process, which uses no radiation, works by analyzi

  • PICTURES, DANG IT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:45PM (#20161349) Homepage

    Why, when there is an article about something visual, especially a revolutionary new visualization system, do they never show pictures.

    I hate that.

    If you are reporting on a neat visual thingy,... SHOW ME THE THINGY. Even a picture of the machine would be a plus, even if it looks exactly like an MRI or some other machine. I don't care if the picture may mean nothing to me. Put a little caption trying to explain it. It doesn't matter, show me SOMETHING.

    Does anyone have a picture?

    This should be criminal.

    (the annoyed MBCook)

  • So we have Businessweek's perspective on things, where--in the very first few sentences--the word "sales" sparkles out. Anyone have a little more to add about the technical side of this imaging system?
  • 40k? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jshriverWVU ( 810740 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @03:46PM (#20161359)
    This VRI system will carry a price tag of over $40K

    When MRI and other can cost over $1 million, 40k isn't that much.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Really, using sound for imagery is no news. Marketing it under a different name may be...
  • The technology "measures energy generated in the lungs"? Ultrasound works by transmitting an acoustic pulse into the body and processing the reflected sound. These frequencies are up to the MHz range, and are used because they have a small wavelength. Smaller wavelength means better imaging resolution. I highly doubt our lungs are generating the MHz frequencies necessary for this to occur. /out
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gardyloo ( 512791 )
      Actually, you're talking about pulse-echo ultrasound, as when you see whether your unborn child has a wee-wee or goat horns or whatever. "Ultrasound" as used by people who work with it generally just refers to the frequency ranges above human hearing (as it should).

      There is active ultrasound (baby monitors, etc.) and passive ultrasound, which relies on picking up sounds produced by whatever processes you're trying to monitor. I agree that large amounts of the acoustic energy produced by biological processes
  • When reached for a follow up comment on the price estimates, the representative from Deep Breeze said that the price was more likely closer to ONE MEEEEELION DOLLARS!

    The representative also mentioned that it would include ill-tempered lab techs with laser beams strapped to their frikkin heads.
  • a Beowulf cluster of these... ...what? It already is a Beowulf cluster?

    My work is done here.
  • As (and if) this device becomes more widespread, the price will drop substantially. Or at least it should.
  • Nice In Theory (Score:2, Insightful)

    This is nice in theory, however I don't see it really catching on.

    For one thing, a stethescope is very cheap. Forty-thousand isn't a lot for a hospital, but if it's not necessary, they won't buy it. That money is better spent on salaries, or saving up for that high-tech imagine unit. Furthermore, even with an output from this, it's highly likely they'll order a CT or MRI anyway for a higher resolution picture.
  • They bleed me so bad now that I wouldn't even feel the prick.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here's a link to the abstract on pubmed. Looks like it's a bit early to say how useful it'll be.

    Dynamic Visualization of Lung Sounds with a Vibration Response Device: A Case Series.
    Dellinger RP, Parrillo JE, Kushnir A, Rossi M, Kushnir I.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed &Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=17551264&ordinalp os=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_Res ultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum [nih.gov]
    • Thanks. For anyone with access to the journal Respiration, you can see some pictures through that link. The authors summarize the machine as producing "in essence a dynamic map of breath sound distribution." Basically, there is a grayscale image with an object that is almost cloverleaf in shape, I presume corresponding to the superior and inferior lobes of the left and right lungs. You can visualize where there is inhalation and there are examples demonstrating a variety of pathological conditions. Thou
  • Can someone please tell me how a machine is considered a "Food" or "Drug"?

  • If this was a machine that did something that other (cheaper) technologies did not already do, it might be worth the price tag. Spirometry (cheap) and a chest X-ray (cheap), and a blood gas (cheap) will tell you more than TFA says this does. Not to mention a good history and physical. (Prices may vary depending on social justice quotient of one's country.)

    In a matter of mere seconds, a doctor using the technology can ascertain an enormous amount of information about the lung that would ordinarily take hours

    • I am not seeing the value of buying a new $40,000 toy...

      Plus there is an added danger... to the patient's pocketbook.
      I got to experience a claim denial because a particular machine
      used in the diagnosis had only been in widespread use for a decade.

      In the insurance companies mind, that meant it was 'experimental'
      and therefore not covered. In this case the patient may be better
      off with an expensive CT or MRI that is covered.

  • Actual term is "substantially equivalent" when compared to a medical device that has been previously cleared for market. In this case there are two predicate devices, the Meditron Stethoscope System and the STG Monitor Multichannel Lung Sound Analysis System. FDA's 510(k)summary page is here - http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs / cfPMN/pmn.cfm?ID=21693 [fda.gov] PDF of the summary is here - http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/pdf6/K061495.pdf [fda.gov]
  • There seem to have been a rash of health-related stories lately...

    I'm a doc, but from the article I have no good idea what this thing does. Sound waves to reconstruct pictures... well, this is called an ultrasound, as somebody already pointed out. Air is a really terrible conductor of ultrasound waves, so usually you'd get a black picture if you just used a u/s probe (that's why they use that goop to do ultrasounds on pregnant women.) True, with a pneumonia, you'd get a denser view, but a regular stetho
  • and a small operation? Price is relative to benefit.
  • by MagicDude ( 727944 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @08:37PM (#20164405)
    IIAMS (Medical Student), and here how I see this device being used, docs will continue using regular stethoscopes because most diagnoses quite straightforward. When there are unusual sounds that require additional insight, then you break out the one VRI that is available in the physician's group. It would be similar to how most cardiac auscultation is straightforward, but when there is something particularly unusual, you send a person for an echo cardiogram. Even there where there is a well established, safe, accurate, non-invasive, relatively cheap imaging modality, you still listen first. Also, imaging isn't infallible, and just like different physicians can disagree about lung sounds, different radiologists can disagree about image interpretation.
  • by ganesaraja12 ( 963631 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @08:59PM (#20164577)
    TFA says that the price of the imaging modality will drop in the next few years with economies of scale and so forth. This is good, very good. It means that it'll make its way into the GP's practice soon and not just be in the hands of respiratory physicians and hospitals. But, honestly, look at things like this: TFA mentions that as far as replacing the stethoscope goes, it removes any sort of interpersonal bias between doctors in diagnosis. While this is just wonderful in respect to some esoteric diagnoses ie. whether you can *hear* a tiny small-cell carcinoma, but for the rest of us, I feel that a stethoscope, a quiet room and a competent doctor will suffice. The sounds of pneumonia, emphysema, pulmonary oedema, tuberculosis, bronchiole asthma etc. are all quite distinctive and as a medical student, I find it somewhat surprising that there can be any significant argument or doubt regarding the diagnosis of such patients. Heck, even if there was doubt, there are other elements of the presenting complaint (risk factors, family history, blood tests and plain old signs & symptoms) that can help doctors reach a definitive diagnosis. What I'm trying to say is, the old stuff works, its tried and true, and it's not easy to honestly miss pulmonary lesions. So, apart from being a novel visual toy (I know it's an instrument but how much fun is this?!) would it HONESTLY replace a $70 stethoscope and a head full of juicy knowledge brains? Me thinks nah :-p
    • Yes...and then?

      I agree, it won't replace the stethoscope, but there is only so much a stethoscope can do. This is another tool to add to the set, and it appears to be a very interesting and useful one at that. Think of all the other ways to get an image of the lungs...none are even remotely as cheap as this.

      So no, it won't replace the stethoscope...but the stethoscope also won't stand in the way of this being adopted. Rather, I expect they will become complimentary tools.
  • ...Daredevil, machine without peer.

  • So the thingy seems to have an array of microphones that sure look like stethoscope heads. They are replacing one stethoscope plus a trained physician's brain (making a mental image out of various sounds in various places) by many mikes and a computer to show the image. A good evolutionary change there, I'd say.

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta