Stethocloud takes a relatively simple approach to replace stethoscopes and targets a common childhood killer.
What do you get when you combine smartphones, cloud computing, and digital medicine? A new era of healthcare that is bringing powerful technological innovations rapidly to the world.
For example, take StethoCloud, a cloud-based service that turns a Windows smartphone into a digital stethoscope. Created by four students from the University of Melbourne, the goal of the team is to enable early diagnosis of an overlooked childhood killer: pneumonia. Using a specially designed microphone called a “stethomic” that plugs into the smartphone’s audio jack and an app that guides users through the proper method for listening to a patient’s breathing, early testing shows promising at accurately detecting the disease.
And it’s expected to cost only $20.
Amazingly, the project only started at the beginning of this year with the first prototype built in February in just two weeks. With backgrounds in both computer science and medicine in developing nations, the team put together the app, cloud service using Windows Azure, and a polished presentation. By April, they were ready with their pitch and their efforts paid off: StethoCloud won the Australian Final of the 2012 Imagine Cup, a student technology competition hosted by Microsoft, in May, and the team advanced to the second round of the worldwide finals.