A Teen's Twist on a Classic Medical Device Is Now on the Market

A medical device startup formed around a 15-year-old's invention of a smartphone-powered stethoscope is ready to launch the device.

Suman Mulumudi was named in MD+DI's 30 under 30: The Medtech Innovators list in 2014 after his invention of the Steth IO smartphone-powered stethoscope landed him a guest spot on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The Bothell, WA-based company has come a long way since then, Matthew Moore, Steth IO's chief brand officer, told MD+DI. The company has grown to include a dozen team members, completed the software and hardware development for the Steth IO, secured FDA approval of the device, and collected "tremendous feedback" from beta users, Moore said. 

All that's left now is the official market launch, which the company announced today. The device, which currently only works with the iPhone platform, is listed at $199 on the company's website, sethio.com, and the app is available as a free download from the App Store. The Steth IO is integrated into a smartphone case and does not require batteries, charging, or pairing to work.

The device is designed to bring real-time visualization to heart and lung sounds, enabling doctors to see auscultation sounds they may not hear. The findings also can be saved and shared for a second opinion or expert consultation.

Mulumudi's father, Mahesh Mulumudi, is a co-founder of the company and a practicing cardiologist. He said the product not only helps with his diagnoses, he has found patients are much more engaged in their own physical exam when the Steth IO is used.

"They love to see and hear their own heart and lung sounds," he said.

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