Aim: To explore, synthesise and discuss currently available digital stethoscopes (DS) and the evidence for their use in paediatric medicine. Methods: Systematic review and narrative synthesis of digital stethoscope use in paediatrics following searches of OVID Medline, Embase, Scopus, PubMed and Google Scholar databases. Results: Six digital stethoscope makes were identified to have been used in paediatric focused studies so far. A total of 25 studies of DS use in paediatrics were included. We discuss the use of digital stethoscope technology in current paediatric medicine, comment on the technical properties of the available devices, the effectiveness and limitations of this technology, and potential uses in the fields of paediatrics and neonatology, from telemedicine to computer-aided diagnostics. Conclusion: Further validation and testing of available DS devices is required. Comparison studies between different types of DS would be useful in identifying strengths and flaws of each DS as well as identifying clinical situations for which each may be most appropriately suited.
- Computer-assisted phonocardiography
- Signal processing