ONTARIO – A team of researchers at Western University have developed a clinically validated 3D printed stethoscope, according to a study on the device that was published recently in the online journal PLOS ONE. “We wanted physicians and allied health care professionals to be able to have something that was high quality,” said Dr. Tarek Loubani, one of the researchers. “The study found that the acoustic quality was the same in our stethoscope as in a premium brand stethoscope.” The researchers designed an open-access template for the 3D printed stethoscope, called the Glia, which can be created using recycled plastic in less than three hours for under $3. The device is currently in clinical use by physicians and allied health professionals in Gaza and is also in clinical trials at the London Health Sciences Centre. The researchers said the device was designed for use in low-income communities and war-torn countries. They hope to create templates for other medical devices that can be made or improved on-site in locations with scarce resources.
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