Introduction

Auscultating, like most medical skills, requires practice and perseverance. The array of conditions that can be detected by a proper auscultation is vast and thus constitutes a physician’s most handy tool.

In this article we will be reviewing Auscultation Primer, an app that provides help to those wishing to learn to auscultate.

Auscultation Primer is a software from The Heart Sounds Lab from the the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas.

A few weeks ago we reviewed and were not overly impressed with HeartSounds Stethoscope,  a similar app that had the same aim but missed the target; let’s see if this time is better.

The App

As we open Auscultation Primer we are welcomed by a screen explaining to us the purpose of the app and are offered two buttons.  “Next” let’s us proceed to exploring the app while “i” displays a help screen.

After tapping “Next”, a list of a normal and pathological heart sounds is displayed and selecting one gives us more information about it.

The detailed view offers information on the sound and in which situations one would expect to find it. Just a tap on the “read more” button will showcase even more information with physiology charts and diagrams. Some entries even have video files attached.

Thoughts

Auscultation Primer is really well designed. The interface is friendly and intuitive. There is plenty of information about each sound and the diagrams and charts help a lot. The use of videos is adequate, providing illustrations where necessary. Sound quality is excellent and important sounds are represented. It’s a shame that the app only focuses on Heart Sounds and not Pulmonary ones as well.

Likes

  • Solid information on each sound
  • Plenty of explanations for the student
  • Friendly user interface

Dislikes

  • Only heart sounds

Conclusion

Auscultation Primer is an excellent app to have around if you are learning to auscultate hearts and will surely be useful to many students and physicians alike.

Google Play Link

Additional Information

App Version and Price: v 1.0, Free
Phone used for review: Motorola Droid 3
Developer:  The Heart Sounds Lab