This smart stethoscope and thermometer make your bedroom a doctor’s office

Imagine Rosie the resident, a robot doctor on demand — who monitors your heart rate, breathing, blood flow, and other vital signs for the telltale advent of a heart attack. Or a gadget to instantly beam your blood pressure to your primary care physician, rather than schlepping cross-town for that annual checkup.

They don’t exist.

But such gizmos are easy to envision in a world transformed by technology, especially the field of healthcare, which seems to adopt some technologies as quickly as a the Postal Service. Despite the sensorization of everything and the march of the connected home, basic healthcare doesn’t feel like it’s changed much at all, does it? Norman Rockwell painted doctors in lab coats holding stethoscopes to chests in the 1950s — sound at all like your last annual checkup?

Andrew Lin shares thinks it’s an anachronism — and he’s trying to make the future come sooner.

“If you say my baby has a cough or cold, it’s tough for a patient to be able to get a response from a doctor,” said Lin, an Australian physician and inventor. “Is this something I need to worry about? Should I come see you?”

Those are common questions, especially for concerned parents, but the common response is too often a late-night panicked trip to the ER. Lin is CEO of a new company, CliniCloud, which has a simple, elegant solution: smartphone-connected health monitoring tools, a stethoscope and infrared thermometer that can transmit data directly from your bedroom to a doctor, letting a patient monitor herself.

“What we saw missing is really the clinical input stuff that makes the home setting more like a physician’s office. Give them the inputs, the tools, for objective measure,” he told Digital Trends. By letting a trained doctor see a person’s vitals, he can make an informed decision. Does a 100-degree temperature merit a trip to the doctor?

“That’s the real hurdle of remote care. Should there be an outcome?” Lin asked.

The CliniCloud package will make it all possible. On sale at Best Buy this holiday season for $149, the package contains an infrared thermometer (no physical contact required) shaped sort of like a fat hot dog and calibrated for the human temperature range, and a medical-grade stethoscope that connects via Bluetooth to let a doctor monitor your heart and lungs remotely. The devices work with the CliniCloud app on your smartphone, which connects to Doctor on Demand — like Skype for physicians — and potentially other services in the future.

Seen in our New York City offices in early August, the app wasn’t quite final but looks polished and easy to use. It contains basic icons for for heart, lungs, and temperature, and an interface to facilitate video chats with the doctor. The process is simple: Connect the stethoscope to your phone and use it to take a recording, then wave the thermometer over your body to measure temperature. A simple illustration on the app guides you through the process. Then beam the data to the doctor, dial up the service, and wait for a diagnosis.

Lin has been working on CliniCloud since 2012, when it started as a student project during his final year at medical school. A Microsoft grant of $75,000 — called StethoCloud, it was one of five winners of the 2012 Imagine Cup — helped commercialize the project. On Wednesday, the company announced a $5 million investment round led by Tencent.

“The mobile Internet is now ushering in a new era for health diagnostics,” David Wallerstein, Tencent’s Chief Exploration Officer said. “CliniCloud has taken a core tool for family physicians — the stethoscope — and brought it into the modern era.”

Deloitte estimates the mobile health industry to be worth $21 billion by 2018, but Lin thinks there are applications for CliniCloud beyond checkups.

“A lot of researchers are really upbeat about this kind of thing as well,” he told Digital Trends.

Deals

Best deals on smart locks so you’ll never have to worry about unlocked doors

Is your front door locked? We found the best deals on smart home door locks that take the worry out of wondering if your home is secure. You can lock or unlock your doors remotely and some models let you control locks with voice commands.
Home Theater

Here's how to pick out the best TV stand to enhance your viewing experience

This TV stand buying guide will cover how much space you need for equipment, how the stand manages cables, and the size of the stand you need as you look for a new model that fits in your home.
Smart Home

LG is rolling out the barrels at CES 2019 with a craft beer machine

Looking to get into the beer making game? With the help of LG, you can become a brewmaster at home. The electronics maker is rolling out the LG HomeBrew, an at-home beer making machine at CES 2019.
Deals

Keep an eye on things with the Alexa-enabled Ring video doorbell, now only $93

Smart home devices like the Ring video doorbell make it easier to keep an eye on your castle right from your smartphone – no matter where you are. If you want to smarten up your home security, here's how you can grab a Ring doorbell on…
Deals

Still have money in your Flexible Spending Account? Head to the FSA online store

Don’t panic if you still have money sitting in your FSA and no doctor's appointments on the horizon. The FSA store has plenty of cool, useful gizmos you’ll want to purchase for your home and your health.
Emerging Tech

Breakthrough male contraceptive gel is nearly ready for the bedroom

A new male contraceptive gel is absorbed through the skin, and promises to temporarily reduce sperm count in order to avoid pregnancy. Here's how you can get involved with a clinical trial.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Wearable device spots signs of an opioid overdose, automatically calls for help

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a wearable device that’s capable of detecting an opioid overdose and sending out an alert to medical personnel. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

First baby born using a womb transplanted from a deceased donor

In a world first, doctors have confirmed the birth of a healthy baby girl in Brazil using a womb transplanted from a deceased donor. Here's why that's so potentially transformative.
Emerging Tech

This implant goes beyond pacemakers, helps aging hearts beat more vigorously

The FDA's advisory committee has voted to recommend an innovative pacemaker-style gadget be approved in the U.S. The Optimizer Smart Implantable Pulse Generator boosts performance, strength, and pumping ability of weakened heart chambers.
Outdoors

Forget pumps. This innovative filter purifies H2O in 8 seconds flat

The Grayl Geopress water purification system removes more than 99 percent of all bacteria, cysts, and viruses from water in just eight seconds, providing clean drinking water to travelers and outdoor adventurers.
Outdoors

Built to take a beating and still perform, these are the best hiking watches

A proper hiking watch should track exercise metrics and act as a navigational co-pilot during any kind of hike. Ideally, it'll even have a built-in GPS system and sensors. Here are five of the best hiking watches.
Outdoors

Crush your next workout with the best Fitbit for every activity

Fitbits are amazingly helpful tools for setting fitness goals and tracking progress. However, different activities require different metrics. We've gathered a list of the best Fitbits for running, swimming, biking, and other activities.
Deals

These fitness deals come just in time to work off those holiday calories

Finding the motivation to work out is one thing. Finding space at home to get in a few sets and reps can be an entire challenge in itself. Luckily for you, Walmart and Amazon both have space saving fitness machines and tools on sale right…