Anyone who has read Jonathan Sterne’s work on audile technique and mediate auscultation (and for those interested in the cultural history of sound reproduction, Sterne’s The Audible Past is a must read) will appreciate the potential of this, a new device that will help aid the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory conditions. According to a Businessweek article, the technology:
works by analyzing acoustic vibrations given off by the lungs. As a patient breathes normally for several seconds, sensors placed on the back—in effect, electronic stethoscopes—pick up these lung vibrations and feed them to a computer, where they’re processed and turned into vivid images.
Hey R.T.H. Laennec! Auscultate closely: Eat it, old-fashioned stethoscope! Boo-yah!