Biocontainment presents a unique challenge for auscultation. With the Centers for Disease Control calling for personal protective equipment (PPE) in treating patients for the coronavirus, how does the clinician place stethoscope eartips in the ears for listening? Auscultation at the bedside using a conventional style stethoscope with tubing becomes impossible.
Thinklabs One solves the problem. Teams at multiple centers in the USA, including Johns Hopkins Hospital, Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, the Nebraska Medical Center, and Emory use Thinklabs One on their isolation patients. We have been working with biocontainment and infectious disease teams since the Ebola crisis in 2014. We can help solve your BCU, ID or ED requirements during flu seasons, epidemics, and pandemics.
Thinklabs One's unique stethoscope design allows healthcare workers to perform ausculation while being protected in an isolation environment, and can be used with protective covers in the ED to reduce contamination when pre-screening admissions.
The One can be used directly using earbuds or headphones, via bluetooth transmitters within the isolation room or to a consultant outside the room, connected to a loudspeaker, or send sounds via email or instant messaging on iPhone or iPad.
Biocontainment teams are using the One in unique ways:
-Personnel are donning disposable earbud headphones inside PPE or headsets over PPE.
-If inside, the earbud/headphone cable is then snaked out of the protective clothing, to be connected, external to the clothing, to the Thinklabs One Digital Stethoscope. The clinician can then listen clearly to patient sounds while being fully suited up.
Ziploc Protection for Primary Care and ED
-One group of researchers developed a simple and practical way to treat multiple infectious patients using resealable Ziploc plastic bags. They connected the stethoscope to a Bluetooth transmitter and then placed the device inside of up to ten-yes, ten-resealable Ziploc plastic bags. The bags were sequentially removed to reveal a clean surface for listening to patients.
-The Ziploc method is a novel way to take advantage of the Thinklabs One form factor. The entire stethoscope and Bluetooth transmitter fit inside a sealed bag.
-This is ideal for ED and primary care use, where protection is highly desirable, but PPE impractical.
-Alternatively they can do live telemedicine or record sounds on an iPad for transmission for second opinions outside the BCU. Bluetooth transmitters can be used to transmit sounds live to consultants outside, to minimize the number of clinicians who have to be tracked or exposed.
-When personnel remove clothing and equipment, the headphones are withdrawn/pulled from under the clothing and discarded with other contaminated equipment and clothing. Any wiring that was outside the clothing is drawn away from the user, never touching skin.
-Thinklabs One stays inside the BCU for re-use.
If you are treating, or preparing to treat, infectious patients, please let us know, or add a note to your order. We are developing a knowledge base specially for infectious disease preparedness so that we can share the experience in our user community.
User experience, treating actual biocontainment patients or training for such events using the Thinklabs One, is building this knowledge base on a daily basis and we'd like to keep you up to date.
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Hear the Public Radio interview with Clive Smith, CEO of Thinklabs, about the use of Thinklabs One for Ebola. Click here
2014 PPE used at Bellevue Hospital, New York for Ebola patient.
Biocontainment and Infectious Diseases
2020 PPE with Thinklabs One, used at Johns Hopkins
for COVID-19 patients.