The best new products of 2007, Part 1

December 1, 2007

A recap of pediatric new products that have come on the market in 2007.

Key Points

2007 saw the stock market hit an all-time high, and the housing market crash. At Virginia Tech, 27 college students and five professors were massacred. In pediatric health care, 2007 was a year that witnessed vaccine shortages as well as massive toy recalls from China. It also produced the first evidence-based committee recommendations on the assessment, prevention, and treatment of child obesity. This year Microsoft released Windows Vista, and Apple released the innovative iPhone. New technologies for pediatric offices also flourished. In addition to reviewing several new products that could find a home into your own practice, this review discusses some new ideas that will improve the emergency care provided to patients.

High-tech stethoscopes times two

I have been very pleased with how technology has improved the "classic" stethoscope over the years. In my own experience, electronic stethoscopes facilitate the diagnosis of congenital heart disease and pneumonias in children. My older scopes collect dust in my office. I am pleased to report that there are two new high-quality electronic stethoscopes on the market to consider.

Like its predecessor, the 4100 WS can amplify sounds up to 18 times greater than traditional stethoscopes, and has three frequency ranges-bell, diaphragm, and extended range. Unlike the model 3000, it can display the heart rate on an LED screen, and can record, store, and play back up to six eight-second tracks of auscultated sounds. These tracks can be transmitted (via infrared signals) to another stethoscope, a Personal Digital Assistant, or a computer for further analysis. 3M Littmann also includes its Sound Analysis Software version 2.0 with the purchase of the 4100 WS, which can save and organize recorded sounds, and display recorded murmurs as a printable phonocardiogram. The stethoscope sells for about $510.

Thinklab Digital Stethoscope also released an electronic stethoscope, this one called the ds32a The stethoscope features an electromechanical diaphragm that converts body sounds to electronic signals immediately, before there is degradation of the transmitted sounds. The stethoscope also includes sophisticated ambient noise rejection, which can be turned on or off depending on the listening environment. Buttons on the control interface lets users toggle between bell and diaphragm mode, adjust volume, mute all sounds, and switch between regular acoustic mode and an amplification mode that can enhance sound fiftyfold. The $440 stethoscope includes cables to transfer auscultated sounds to computer or mp3 player. Software provided with the device lets the recorded heart sounds be shown in phonocardiogram format as well.

New wound glues

The marketplace of skin closure devices ranges from skin staples to the innovative ClozeX wound closure system. One method, discussed in a previous New Products roundup, is the Dermabond tissue adhesive system that closes lacerations easily and without anesthesia.