Cardionics E-Scope

E-scope, clinical model
E-scope (clinical model)
Courtesy of Cardionics

Until recently, this was the nearest to “one size fits all” we had, with options for headphones, induction silhouettes (T setting) and direct audio input. And some people have been able to connect it through FM or Bluetooth ALDs. Unfortunately the CE license expired last year and Cardionics didn’t renew it. So new E-scopes aren’t available for sale in the UK any more. It’s still worth knowing about the E-scope as it is available in the US and second-hand stethoscopes come up for sale in the UK once in a blue moon. I’ll update this when I know more about the legal status [1].

The E-scope comes in two versions: the “Clinical” model has conventional arms and eartips. Use with normal or adapted eartips or custom moulds (link).

Image of E-Scope Hearing Impaired Model
E-Scope (Hearing Impaired model)
(Courtesy of Cardionics)

The “Hearing Impaired” model does away with the stethoscope arms and eartips so they don’t get in the way and are replaced with a headphone socket. Cardionics offers a choice of headphones, all of which have good low frequency response.

Both have a mini-USB-type socket to take cables for recording or a headphones, allowing a second listener for teaching. Or headphones for your use if you no longer wanted to use the conventional eartips.

Other information:

  • Have you read the essential safety information: “limitations of hearing aids and implants?”
  • Consider funding
  • Arrange a trial period
  • And see how your audiogram matches up to heart and lung sounds to find out whether you need amplification or not.
  • If the spring in other stethoscope arms is so strong you find it uncomfortable, try the Thinklabs ds32a+ which has adjustable arms. I haven’t handled one myself yet so do let me know if you try this and how you get on. Thanks.
  • Don’t forget, hearing aids don’t usually reproduce the low frequencies well. So if you’re using earpieces, custom moulds or headphones over hearing aids you also need vents in your ear moulds or open fitting.
  • Certain electronic stethoscopes can link to hearing aids using accessories such as the T switch, direct audio input (DAI) cables or even FM or Bluetooth if your hearing aids have these facilities. However it is better to use earpieces or headphones if possible to avoid the problem of poor low frequency reproduction.

Which stethoscope? Comparison chart.

[1] Without the CE mark, I don’t think Cardionics are allowed to sell direct to an individual in the EU, but I’m trying to clarify this. And I don’t know whether we are allowed to use it in the UK if we have been able to buy it in the US as an individual.

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2 thoughts on “Cardionics E-Scope”

  1. Hi,
    I’m a final year medical student at Warwick University, UK. I have had the Cardionics E-scope throughout my training. I was provided after my disability assessment via Gordon Morris Hearing Solutions (http://www.gordonmorrisshop.co.uk/).

    Whilst it has been a very useful tool for me I should point out one or two of its “flaws.” Firstly if you use it, as I do, via the BTE input lead it can be somewhat fragile. The lead inserts into what is basically a chip attached to the main circuit board on the side of the scope which overtime can loosen and come away, even taking care to be as gentle as possible. Whilst you can still use the scope via the headphones, it is an expensive thing to have repaired (£250) as there is no EU base. It has to be sent back to the US for repair.

    Secondly the BTE lead itself is also a tad fragile, like any long wire similar to normal iPod headphones it can fray over time. This can cost $150-200 to replace too.

    1. Hi Christopher,

      yes, I agree, the mini-USB socket does look as though it needs gentle handling.

      I know this doesn’t solve the problem with the socket, but have you thought of using headphones? Unless there’s a particular reason you can’t do this (eg your audiologist says you can’t have vents in your ear moulds due to the pattern of hearing loss), headphones are a better option than DAI. Using DAI, you may be missing sounds of very low frequency such as 3rd & 4th heart sounds especially. See Limitations of hearing aids…

      If you need to use DAI, one option may be to keep the cable plugged in, so the socket is moved as little as possible. Use a cable tidy to help keep the cable from flopping around and store the stethoscope with the cable in place in the zip case it comes with. During the working day, if you’re in one consulting room, you can find somewhere to place or hang the stethoscope securely. If you’re going from ward to ward, I wonder if there’s a way of draping it on your neck that keep the cable/socket junction stable. Maybe even some sort of clip to hold the joint stable? Not sure. Otherwise it may mean carrying it round in the zip case. Which is not convenient.

      I do wonder about the cost of replacements such as cables. I don’t know whether the ones Cardionics supply are a particular specification or whether DAI cables we can buy generally are just as good. I don’t have the technical expertise to know things like this so I’d be glad to hear from anyone who does. Thanks.

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