In 2013, Suman Mulumudi was 14 years old when he began working on a device to improve the 200-year-old stethoscope as part of a high school project. He was inspired to work on this idea, after his father, cardiologist Mahesh Mulumudi, told him about the difficulties of hearing and diagnosing heart problems using a standard stethoscope.
During early research, Suman came across a prototype for an electronic stethoscope developed in the ’80s. The device was wheeled around on a cart and used computers to visualize the patient’s heartbeat sound. Impressed by the concept of visualization, Suman wanted to see if he could produce the same capability on a mobile phone.
Using a 3-D Printer, various prototypes were developed. These devices were integrated into a phone case. When an iPhone was placed into the case, Suman could detect a patient’s heartbeat clearly with the iPhone’s high fidelity microphone.
The device, when combined with an application on the iPhone, worked well. For the first time on a mobile device, heart sounds could be seen as well as heard. Feedback from doctors and the wider medical community was encouraging. Suman and his father started a company to make his invention available to doctors all over the world.
In May 2014, Suman was even featured on the Jimmy Fallon show demonstrating the Stethoscope and checking Jimmy’s heartbeat. That same month the company won the WTIA’s First Look competition.
In 2015, the Company raised its first round of funding. They started working on how to produce high-quality devices at scale and began the FDA approval process to market the Steth IO as a medical device to physicians. Many further iterations of both the hardware and the software followed. In addition, the company was issued several patents.
With FDA approval granted and core members added to the team, the Steth IO device was commercially launched in April 2018.
No products will be shipped, nor charges incurred, before FDA clearance.