Our open source stethoscope is research-validated to operate as well as a Littmann Cardiology III, but can be produced using 3D printed parts for a fraction of the price.
Version 2.0 complete, in use
Peer reviewed, validated by Glia
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Why The Stethoscope?
The iconic stethoscope is a simple instrument that has undergone little innovation in design or fabrication for decades. Despite this, the Littmann Cardiology IV, widely regarded as the field’s gold standard, still costs several hundred dollars. This cost is a barrier in rich and poor countries alike. In urban areas in the developed world, allied professionals such as nurses and paramedics are often unable to afford premium stethoscopes. Rural areas experience similar pressures due to lack of availability of niche items like medical devices. In the developing world, stethoscopes are often a luxury item and many professionals in hospitals and medical centres have never used them.
The Glia stethoscope functions as well as the market gold-standard Littmann Cardiology III at a fraction of the cost.
Modelling off the 1963 Littmann design whose patent expired decades ago, we created a stethoscope that performs on par with the Cardiology III at a cost of approximately $20 USD. To reduce cost, 3D printers are used to create several parts including the stethoscope head, Y-piece, spring and ear tubes. This device has been validated in a peer-reviewed publication. In Canada, it is produced by Glia as a Class I device. Glia holds a Medical Device Establishment License from Health Canada.
With more than 2,500 printed, the Glia stethoscope is already being used to treat patients around the world.
The stethoscope is being deployed in Canada and internationally. Medical professionals who have relied on premium brand counterparts are making the switch and realizing the potential devices like these can have for sustainable and self-reliant healthcare. The stethoscope is also being introduced where stethoscopes may not have been used before, improving the quality of care patients receive.