Microphones and stethoscopes are regularly used by physicians to detect sounds when monitoring physiological conditions. These monitors are coupled directly to a person's body and measure in certain bandwidths either by listening or by recording the signals. The physiological processes, such as respiration and cardiac activity, are reflected in a different frequency bandwidth from 0.01 Hz to 500 Hz.

NASA Langley Research Center has developed an infrasonic stethoscope that detects a broader range of physiological conditions than a conventional stethoscope — the use of which has declined mainly due to availability of other advanced technologies such as the echocardiogram, which can be complex, costly, and require the need of a specialist for correct interpretation. Further, it is estimated that more than 85% of the population of the world does not have access to advanced diagnostic tools such as echocardiogram and CT scans.

Recorded simultaneous electrocardiogram and infrascope waveforms. (NASA)

This full-spectrum scope provides additional data to physicians by monitoring signals across full frequency band-widths that include cardiac, carotid artery, and respiration activities — something that is not available in conventional stethoscopes. This technology can monitor physiological conditions in the entire bandwidth range. Signals can also be wirelessly transmitted, using Bluetooth, to other recording devices at any other location.

NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. Please contact The Technology Gateway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 757-864-1178 to initiate licensing discussions. Follow this link here  for more information.