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Stethoscope Timeline

The name ‘stethoscope’ is derived from the two Greek words ‘stethos’ for chest and ‘scopos’ for examination.
Below are some key dates in the evolution of the stethoscope.

1816
The stethoscope was invented in 1816 by French scientist René Laennec at the Necker Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris.

1840
The first stethoscope with a fully flexible tube was invented by British Doctor Golding Bird.

1851
Irish physician Arthur Leared invented a binaural stethoscope, which fitted into both ears.

1851
Dr. Nathan Marsh of Cincinnati patented the first commercially available stethoscope.

1852
Dr. George Cammann of New York successfully adapted the binaural design for commercial production. This design was never patented as he believed it should be freely available to all.

1940’s
A Stethoscope was developed with two sides, one for the respiratory system, the other for the cardiovascular system.

1960’s
Dr. David Littmann patents a new stethoscope with improved acoustics.

2000’s
First Electronic Stethoscopes become commercially available.

2015
3D-printed Stethoscope is developed by Dr. Tarek Loubani and is published as an open-source project.

2018
Steth IO commercially releases the Smartphone Stethoscope, invented by Suman Mulumudi.

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