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Engineering assisted medical training: development of auscultation simulator

Journal of Cardiology & Current Research
Abdul Rasak Zubair, George Oamen Irabor

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Simulation is an important part of medical training which allows students and examinees to
face unfamiliar problems with familiar devices. Auscultation is a major aspect of medical
training as heart and lung sounds need to be properly diagnosed to provide appropriate
healthcare. The Auscultation Simulator combines these two concepts to instruct and
potentially test medical students and practitioners on a broad spectrum of cardiac and lung
ailments. The development of an Auscultation Simulator is presented. A stethoscope was
adapted as the mechanical frame for the simulator. Records of heart and long sounds are
acquired from a database. These audio samples were pre-processed to increase the time
span and improve the signal to noise ratio. A computer program was developed to choose
and play a heart or lung sound which is picked and transmitted to the receiver module in
the simulator. Two expert cardiologists assessed the quality of sounds of the Auscultation
Simulator and 11 resident doctors and consultants of the University College Hospital,
Ibadan completed questionnaires on their user experiences. The cardiologists were mostly
satisfied with the quality of the heart sounds with a 95% satisfaction rate and lung sounds
with a 70% satisfaction rate. The residents and consultants had a net positive review on the
build and sound quality of the auscultation simulator. The Auscultation Simulator proves
to be a useful engineering tool in medical training exercises while keeping itself affordable
and easy to use for most teaching hospitals in Nigeria


Biomedical device, cardiac murmur simulation, audio signal processing, medical training, recycling of hospital waste