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DigiScope - unobtrusive collection and annotating of auscultations in real hospital environments

Pereira, D. ; Hedayioglu, F. ; Correia, R. ; Silva, T. ; Dutra, I. ; Almeida, FA ; Mattos, S. S. ; Coimbra, M.

DigiScope - unobtrusive collection and annotating of auscultations in real hospital environments, Proc IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society , Boston, United States, Vol. 1, pp. 1193 - 1196, August, 2011.

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6090280

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Digital stethoscopes are medical devices that can collect, store and sometimes transmit acoustic auscultation signals in a digital format. These can then be replayed, sent to a colleague for a second opinion, studied in detail after an auscultation, used for training or, as we envision it, can be used as a cheap powerful tool for screening cardiac pathologies. In this work, we present the design, development and deployment of a prototype for collecting and annotating auscultation signals within real hospital environments. Our main objective is not only pave the way for future unobtrusive systems for cardiac pathology screening, but more immediately we aim to create a repository of annotated auscultation signals for biomedical signal processing and machine learning research. The presented prototype revolves around a digital stethoscope that can stream the collected audio signal to a nearby tablet PC. Interaction with this system is based on two models: a data collection model adequate for the uncontrolled hospital environments of both emergency room and primary care, and a data annotation model for offline metadata input. A specific data model was created for the repository. The prototype has been deployed and is currently being tested in two Hospitals, one in Portugal and one in Brazil.