Cardionics Vi-Scope

Picture of Vi-Scope
Vi-Scope.
Image courtesy of Cardionics

Update: as far as I am aware, the Vi-Scope is no longer manufactured. However the Thinklabs One can be used with apps that give a visual display (phonogram).

Please let me know if you find the Vi-Scope is still available. I’ll keep this page up for a while in case someone does know more.

The Cardionics Vi-Scope is the only stethoscope with an integral visual display. You can view the phonocardiogram or phonopneumogram as you examine without needing a separate piece of equipment. Very convenient if you need visual display. Bulky if you don’t. (Compare to the Thinklabs ds32a+ which can be linked to an iPhone or iPod.)

 

The Vi-Scope in use
The Vi-Scope in use.
Courtesy of Cardionics

The Vi-Scope comes in two models, “Clinical” and “Hearing Impaired.” The Clinical model has normal stethoscope earpieces so you take out your hearing aids or use adapted earpieces or custom moulds. The “Hearing Impaired” model is supplied with headphones which can often be worn over hearing aids. As I understand it, the base unit is identical. You can unplug the stethoscope headset from the Clinical model, plug in headphones and it becomes a Hearing Impaired model. And vice versa. I’m just waiting on Cardionics to confirm this.

However, this may not be the best choice if you want to use headphones or other accessories such as induction silhouettes (T setting), direct audio input or FM or Bluetooth streamers. The Vi-Scope is the new contender from the same stable as the Cardionics E-Scope. The E-Scope was a versatile and popular choice until summer 2012 when its CE license ran out and wasn’t renewed. Still popular in the US, it’s currently unavailable in the EU. Like the Vi-Scope, the E-Scope also has a Hearing Impaired model which gave excellent amplification through headphones. But Becky Morris at Beyond Hearing Aids has been testing the Vi-Scope and writes,

“The non-traditional ViScope model has an audio output jack designed for headphones, streamers and silhouettes like the Escope. But during my testing, the output sound level is NOT comparable. If you wanted the sound level of an Escope with visual display, the ViScope may not be the answer. I have not been able to get satisfactory results for headphones or connecting to streamers.”

Becky is an authority on stethoscope use for deaf and hard of hearing health professionals [1] so if you want to use headphones or other accessories and need the amplification, you may prefer the Thinklabs ds32a+ or the Cardionics E-Scope if you can somehow get hold of one.

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.
  • 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.

Which stethoscope? Comparison chart.

[1] Becky is co-author of the seminal articles about stethoscope use with hearing aids and implants, eg How to cope with scopes: Stethoscope selection and use with hearing aids and CIs.
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2 thoughts on “Cardionics Vi-Scope”

  1. Hello

    Can you please tell me are you able to supply the Cardionics Vi-Scope on for orders raised with a NHS order number in the UK

    Thank you

    1. Dear Damian,

      Cardionics dropped the Vi-scope. I heard a rumour it was still being manufactured for a while but I think has been discontinued a while now. However Thinklabs can be used with apps with a visual display. I’m not precisely sure of the current status and have just asked so will let you know when I hear back.

      I’ve just updated the Vi-Scope page on our website. I had put a note on the comparison table and am sorry I hadn’t also updated the Vi-Scope page.

      A different Vi-Scope did show up when I searched just now, so another manufacturer seems to have developed something. Or maybe took over the old and has updated it. I’ve contacted them to find out more.

      I will be re-writing all the resources about stethoscopes as so much changes over the years but it’ll be a lot of work and I’m sorry I can’t at the moment.

      This is an information website and support network, we aren’t suppliers.

      Clare

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