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Interviews

The Steth♡scope: Bringing Innovation to Telemedicine and Diagnostic Support (Part 3)

Shimpei Ogawa

Bringing revolutionary change to medical devices.
Interviewer & Japanese Writer: Yamamoto Takaya; Translation & Editing: Matthew Cherry
The Super Stethoscope

The Super Stethoscope’s current prototype

Shimpei Ogawa’s future with the Super Stethoscope is looking bright.

The overall goal of the Super Stethoscope is to use EKG and heartbeat data analyzed by AI to aid with automated and quick diagnosis of heart conditions. The development of the device is still underway. The results analyzed by AI can be sent across long distances alongside other data to enable remote auscultation. Collaboration with other medical institutions also looks to be a promising method to expand its capabilities.

The device has been receiving a great deal of attention within the medical field. Currently, Dr. Ogawa is working with 15 medical institutions through his company AMI, Inc. and is in talks for collaborative research with other facilities all across Japan.

In the beginning, Dr. Ogawa envisioned the Super Stethoscope as a device that could be used even by non-cardiologists to help with the early detection of heart disease. After speaking with several cardiologists at conferences and symposiums, he realized cardiologists themselves had an interest in the device. He received encouraging comments, with doctors saying they would love to use it if it could be used to quantify heart failure.

“Connecting people to doctors in the home via telemedicine is an important idea, but we also believe that D2D, or connecting doctors to doctors via telemedicine is just as important. Connecting hospitals together will provide another method of diagnostics and medical care,” Ogawa explained.

If Dr. Ogawa could implement this, all sorts of possibilities would open up in the medical field. Linking up with other medical institutions and devices could provide remote capabilities that go beyond a face-to-face meeting with a doctor. Telemedicine and home medical care are evolving in revolutionary ways, and one of the main devices leading the way is the Super Stethoscope.

Useage of the Super Stethoscope with a screen displaying a heatmap of the heartbeat

Remote auscultation in action

The Super Stethoscope is currently undergoing inspections from the government, and progress is being made to sell the hardware before the AI software. Since the AI will need to undergo a separate approval process, it will be provided at a later date. Dr. Ogawa mentioned the support he received from the INNO-vation Program was a reason he was able to make it as far as he has.

“When I was selected for the INNO-vation Program, the prototype had just barely been completed and I hadn’t really done anything with the device yet,” Dr. Ogawa recalled. “I really believe the program supports the buds of innovation that have yet to sprout and continues to help nurture them as they grow. If there’s anyone out there that feels they haven’t received recognition for what they’re doing, I encourage you to give the program a try.”

A message of encouragement to the challengers of tomorrow from Dr. Shimpei Ogawa, a man trying to bring about a revolutionary change to the medical world.


Dr. Shimpei Ogawa’s Profile

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