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Using the VidyoConnect Digital Stethoscope Feature

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As a healthcare provider, you want to give all your patients the highest standard of care, even when you can’t be physically present. Now, with the VidyoConnect digital stethoscope feature, you can perform reliable and accurate auscultations from any location during your telehealth visits.

Equipment Recommendations

  • Vidyo supports the Thinklabs One™ digital stethoscope for use with VidyoConnect. If you choose to use this digital stethoscope, you must use it in conjunction with the Audio-Technica ATR2USB 3.5 mm to USB audio adapter.
     
  • In order to maintain the highest quality audio transmission when using the digital stethoscope feature, the Opus codec is required. The Opus codec is available and can be enabled on VidyoPortal version 18.3.1 and later.
    • If you’re a VidyoConnect Healthcare Edition cloud customer, Vidyo will automatically upgrade your portal to the latest version.
    • If you’re an on-premises customer, ensure that you’ve upgraded your portal to version 18.3.1 or later before using the digital stethoscope feature.

Audio and Volume Recommendations

To ensure the best audio quality, refer to the table below to adjust the volume to your Thinklabs One stethoscope device and computers running the VidyoConnect for destkotp application (patient site and physician site) as follows:

 

Recommended Audio/Volume Settings

Device or Compueter Steps to Adjust Sensitivity or Volume Sensitivity or Volume Setting Notes
Thinklabs One Digital Stethoscop

Go to the Volume Control & Display and select - or + to adjust the volume level.

2 or 3 units (out of 10)

N/A

Computer running the VidyoConnect application at the patient site 

Adjust the microphone sensitivity or “mic gain”.  For example, you can adjust the sensitivity using Windows 10 by clicking Sound> Microphone Properties>Level). 

About 50% and no higher

Warning: The volume should never be increased beyond 50%, even if the audio level on the physician side is not loud enough. To improve the  audio quality, increase the physician's computer volume.

Audio results are best when using a Windows 10 machine. 

Computer running the VidyoConnect application at the physician site Go to Device>Speakers, and then adjust the  speaker volume. Adjust as per the physician’s preference.

Audio results are best when using a Windows 10 machine. 

If the audio is not loud enough, it is best for the physician to adjust the computer’s speaker volume rather than to adjust the patient side computer sensitivity or mic gain or stethoscope volumes. 

 

Connecting the Digital Stethoscope

The procedure in this section assumes that you’re using the Thinklabs One digital stethoscope (along with the Audio-Technica ATR2USB audio adapter). For complete details about how to connect and operate the Thinklabs One stethoscope, refer to the Thinklabs One User’s Manual.

 

Previously, the digital stethoscope feature was restricted to registered users, whereby patient-side users (a.k.a., "stethoscope owners”) were required to be signed in in order for remote physicians to access the stethoscope audio during a VidyoConnect call. Starting with VidyoConnect version 18.5.0, however, both patient-side users and physician users are allowed to access the stethoscope feature as guest users. 

 

To connect the digital stethoscope:

  1. At the patient site, connect the 3.5mm cable provided by Thinklabs from the output on the Thinklabs One stethoscope to the mic input on the Audio-Technica ATR2USB audio adapter.

  2. Connect the Audio-Technica ATR2USB audio adapter to any available USB port on the computer.

  3. Connect headphones to the headphone jack on the Audio-Technica ATR2USB audio adapter.

    This step is not required; however, you should perform this step if you want to enable a nurse or other on-site healthcare professional to simultaneously monitor the audio being transmitted to the remote physician.

  4. At the physician site, connect headphones to the computer running the VidyoConnect application.

    Loudspeakers cannot produce the low bass of a heartbeat; therefore, the physician must use headphones to listen to the stethoscope. Vidyo recommends using the headphones provided by Thinklabs. However, as a general rule, select headphones that clearly reproduce bass tones (such a brands that are recommended for rap and hip-hop music).

  5. Adjust the volume:
    • At the patient site, the nurse or other healthcare professional can adjust the volume using the volume controls on the computer connected to the Audio-Technica ATR2USB audio adapter.
    • At the physician site, the physician can further control the volume coming from his/her headset using the volume controls on his/her computer.
    • For more information, refer to above Audio and Volume Recommendations table.  

 

Using the VidyoConnect Digital Stethoscope Feature

This section describes how to use the VidyoConnect digital stethoscope feature from the physician’s site.

To use the VidyoConnect digital stethoscope feature:

  1. Use the VidyoConnect application to join the meeting with the patient whose cardiac and/or pulmonary readings you want to monitor.

    Once you’ve joined the meeting, you’ll see the Stethoscope StethButton.png button on the VidyoConnect in-call screen over the patient’s video tile. If your meeting includes multiple participants, the Stethoscope button appears on the tile of the participant who has connected the digital stethoscope (the stethoscope owner).

    A-12.png

  2. Click StethButton.png to open the digital stethoscope control panel.

    A-03.png

    The digital stethoscope control panel:
    • Displays the patient’s name at the top.
    • Can be dragged anywhere on the in-call screen.
    • Can also be opened by selecting Stethoscope.png from the drop-down menu next to the participant’s name in the Participants list:

      A-09.png

  3. Listen to the patient’s heart and/or lungs.

    During the auscultation, you’ll be unable to hear any other audio coming from the patient’s site. This allows you to clearly hear only the audio from the stethoscope. The patient’s site will, however, be able to hear audio from your site, thereby enabling you to give instructions to the patient or the patient’s caregiver.

    NOTE: If audio issues occur, it is best for the physician to adjust the computer’s speaker volume, rather than to adjust the patient side computer (microphone sensitivity) or stethoscope volumes.  Please refer to the Audio and Volume Recommendations table above for recommended settings. 


    To remind you of this, the following occurs:
    • At the physician site, the first time you use the digital stethoscope feature, the message “You won’t be able to hear the patient’s audio while the stethoscope is in use” appears on the VidyoConnect screen:

      A-10.png

    • At the patient site, the message “The healthcare practitioner can’t hear you while stethoscope is in use” appears on the VidyoConnect screen:

      A-11.png

  4. If the site you are viewing includes a camera capable of Far End Camera Control (FECC), you can use the FECC feature along with the digital stethoscope feature and pan, tilt, and zoom the camera at the patient site to get a better view of the patient.

    A-07.png

  5. If your meeting includes multiple participants and you want the patient (the stethoscope owner) to appear in a larger tile, you can pin the patient by clicking the Pin Pin.png button on the patient’s video tile or by selecting AlwaysShow.png from the drop-down menu next to the participant’s name in the Participants list.

    A-05.png

    Alternatively, the patient is automatically pinned to the large tile if FECC controls are open simultaneously.

Important Considerations

  • Do not use the connected devices other than as they are originally intended (i.e., their FDA-approved uses).

  • The VidyoConnect digital stethoscope feature does not seek to alter or analyze the data coming from the devices, just to faithfully transmit it. However, analysis and manipulation for the purpose of preserving and/or improving the fidelity and integrity of the audio, such that the recipient is receiving as accurate a reproduction as possible, may occur.

  • If conditions do not permit the audio to be transmitted and received at a minimally acceptable level, the VidyoConnect application will warn the physician and prevent the sub-acceptable audio from being played. The message “Stethoscope was disabled due to a drop in network quality and will be reactivated once the connection improves” appears on the VidyoConnect screen when the audio quality falls below acceptable levels.
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