When high school student Suman Mulumudi got his hands on a 3D printer, he decided to make an iPhone case, but one which really stood out from the crowd. It’s not covered in bizarre shapes, it’s not compatible with Lego, and it doesn’t have an unusual picture burned into it. No, it does something not only useful, but also unique.
It’s called the Steth IO, and it’s a stethoscope for the smartphone generation. Slot an iPhone into the case, and thanks to a diaphragm on the back, low frequency sound is channeled through a network of tubes leading to the microphone. It can then hear, visualize, and record the sound of a heart beat. The final product is the result of several prototypes, and have led to Mulumudi forming his own company, called Stratoscientific, and submitting the Steth IO for FDA approval. Oh, did we mention he’s only 15 years-old?
According to details on the company website, the Steth IO can record heart data for use with electronic medical records, and aid with diagnosis and treatment when using “telemedicine,” the name given to medical consultations performed remotely. The recording of heart beats this way is apparently a first.
So how did the Steth IO come about? According to a story on Mulumudi published on the 3D printing firm MakerBot’s website, his father is a cardiologist, so he’s no stranger to the medical world and the heart in particular. A student at The Lakeside School in Seattle – well-known for bringing Bill Gates and Paul Allen together – he says the first version of the case took around two weeks to design, and that previous experience with 3D printing made it the obvious choice for developing the prototype.
The Steth IO is the latest in a string of interesting 3D printed mobile accessories seen over the past year, and Makerbot’s Replicator Mini received our Best in Show award at CES this year. There’s no information on when the Steth IO will go on sale, or if it will be available to the general public.