15-Year-Old Uses 3D Printing to Create an Advanced Stethoscope from an iPhone Case


Thanks to recent technology advancements, iPhones today have integrated heart monitors, which allow you to measure your heart rate using a camera.

But 15-year-old Suman Mulumudi has taken this technology a step further, using a 3D printer and iPhone technology to create a device that could help doctors around the world: an advanced stethoscope that monitors heart rates.

The story of this device began last year, when Suman first received a 3D printer last summer as a gift from his parents; a MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer. This printer is what made Suman interested in the potential that 3D printing has.

Suman’s father, Mahesh, is a cardiologist, which meant that dinnertime conversation topics would range from heart murmurs to an introduction into the medical world. Suman was always asking questions and wanting to understand more about his dad’s job.

Using off-the-shelf parts and his 3D printer, Suman built what he calls the “Steth IO,” a smartphone case that allows the phone to collect heart and lung sounds. It is equipped with a diaphragm that collects low-frequency sounds from a patient, sending them through a tube to the microphone, effectively turning his iPhone into a stethoscope.

The Steth IO helps to address the problem found with ordinary stethoscopes. While traditional stethoscopes can’t record data heard from the heart, the Steth IO can.  This device allows medical practitioners to visualize heart sounds, helping to facilitate straightforward and confident diagnoses.

Suman has applied for a patent, founded his own company StratoScientific, and plans to seek FDA approval as well as capital funding to help further the invention.