Suman Mulumudi was given a MakerBot 3D printer during his summer before high school.
Rather than design gadgets for his own amusement, Mulumudi decided to create an iPhone case that could be used as a stethoscope to measure and record heart beats.
Mulumudi, now 15 years old, explains that, “People have tried to put the microphone over the chest, but that doesn’t work.“ Instead, he designed an iPhone case with a diaphragm on the back.
Named the Steth IO, the modified iPhone case optimally collects low-frequency sounds and then sends them to the microphone through a network of tubes. The application on the iPhone then processes these low-frequency sounds into heartbeats. Not only does the device record the pattern of heartbeats, it can help interpret the sounds and screen for abnormalities like heart murmurs.
Mulumudi intends for the device to be used in the larger telemedicine movement through which providers can examine, diagnose, and treat patients remotely. In fact, this device is the latest in a string of mobile medical devices that collect and record health metrics. It will be interesting to see a device developed in the future that combines these individual applications into one mobile health product.
As for the future of Steth IO, Mulumudi and his father, a cardiologist, have founded their own company and have applied for patents and FDA approval for the device. It is unclear when the device will be ready for sale.