Sci Adv. 2022 May 27;8(21):eabo5867. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abo5867. Epub 2022 May 25.
Modern auscultation, using digital stethoscopes, provides a better solution than conventional methods in sound recording and visualization. However, current digital stethoscopes are too bulky and nonconformal to the skin for continuous auscultation. Moreover, motion artifacts from the rigidity cause friction noise, leading to inaccurate diagnoses. Here, we report a class of technologies that offers real-time, wireless, continuous auscultation using a soft wearable system as a quantitative disease diagnosis tool for various diseases. The soft device can detect continuous cardiopulmonary sounds with minimal noise and classify real-time signal abnormalities. A clinical study with multiple patients and control subjects captures the unique advantage of the wearable auscultation method with embedded machine learning for automated diagnoses of four types of lung diseases: crackle, wheeze, stridor, and rhonchi, with a 95% accuracy. The soft system also demonstrates the potential for a sleep study by detecting disordered breathing for home sleep and apnea detection.