App turns smartphones into electronic stethoscopes

A new smartphone app can record heartbeat sounds, helping diagnose conditions such as heart failure, irregular heartbeat or heart murmurs.

While smartwatches can measure heart rate and electrical activity, this app, Echoes, provides the first large-scale database of sound recordings connected with the personal information of the users.

The app requires users to sit in a quiet setting and place their smartphone in four different positions on their chests to make a brief recording.

Echoes turns the sound into a visual display, called waveform, for better analysis, along with heart sound recordings. Though the app doesn’t give diagnostic information, users try to assess their health using medical websites.

The app requires its users to put in their basic information like age, gender, height, and weight and give permission for their heart sounds to be uploaded to the database.

While talking to New Scientist, Pablo Lamata from King’s College London said, “We have learned the quality of the microphone for voice is enough for heart recordings. “

Currently, the app is only available for iPhones since it has a strong microphone for better heart recordings.

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