The stethoscope is not only an important diagnostic tool, but has become a symbol of the medical profession in the years since its inception in 1816. The invention of the stethoscope occurred almost two hundred years ago when a physician identified that higher sound quality occurred when a wooden tube with an earpiece was placed to a patient's chest and caused sounds to be amplified.
The basic stethoscope design hasn't changed since 1865, in spite of the fact that technology has since been developed that would allow the stethoscope to provide information that would have been unthinkable previously. Information such as:
- Amplification, filtering and isolation of sounds
- Noise reduction
- Recording and storage for later playback
- Comparison between normal and abnormal results
- Consultation between doctors at different locations
These features would allow for more detailed evaluation and consultation, remote diagnosis and teaching. The COPE stethoscope was developed to eliminate the traditional stethoscope's deficiencies and enable functionality for broadened use.