New RNK Telephonic Stethoscope Approved by FDA

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RNK Products, Inc. announces that the FDA has approved its newest telephonic stethoscope. The new version, designated the PCP-1 Stethoscope, combines state-of-the-art sensor technology (patents pending) with PC based communications software to provide an economical telephonic stethoscope targeting both the institutional telemedicine market and the home telemedicine market. As an accessory to a video conferencing session, the PCP-1 Stethoscope provides high quality remote auscultation.

because the PCP-1 Stethoscope was designed specifically for telemedicine, there are important differences.

The PCP-1 Stethoscope uses a chest piece that plugs into the Microphone port of a PC to pick up the auscultation sounds from the body. Using piezo technology in the PCP-1 Chest Piece makes it less sensitive to background room noise than microphone based electronic stethoscopes.

The PCP-1 Stethoscope includes Streaming Stethoscope Over IP (sSOIP) software to securely transport the stethoscope signal from a patient at one site over the Internet to a clinician at another site for an auscultation exam.

RNK’s sSOIP software with the PCP-1 Stethoscope has some similarities to the recently announced Littmann ® Scope-to-Scope Tele-Auscultation software with the Littmann ® Model 3200 Electronic Stethoscope. The key similarity is that both product sets are PC based and transport auscultation signals across an IP network. "However," Rich Abbruscato, CEO of RNK Products points out, "because the PCP-1 Stethoscope was designed specifically for telemedicine, there are important differences."

The first difference a user would notice is that the PCP-1 Chest Piece plugs directly into the PC without the need for making a Bluetooth connection to the PC. This makes the PCP-1 easier to set up and inherently more reliable. And there are no batteries needed for the PCP-1 Chest Piece.

While these may be minor issues for institutional telemedicine, they are major issues in home telemedicine where the patients must operate and maintain the stethoscope. The user never has to change batteries, there are no buttons to push to turn on the PCP-1 Chest Piece, or to set up a Bluetooth connection, or to pair it with the Bluetooth dongle on the PC. The PCP-1 Chest Piece is a rugged chest piece head with a coiled cable that plugs into the Microphone jack of the PC. Stethoscope sounds are monitored via the Headphone port of the PC. Very natural for a patient and very comfortable for a clinician.

Another difference between the sSOIP transport software compared to the Littmann ® Scope-to-Scope software is that the PCP-1 Stethoscope encrypts the data stream and can be used securely over the Internet. Not being limited to virtual private networks (VPN) is a nice feature for institutional telemedicine and an essential one for home telemedicine.

The PCP-1 Stethoscope joins other telephonic stethoscopes designed and manufactured by RNK Products, including the models TR-1, TR-1/EF and TR-USB telephonic stethoscopes marketed under RNK's trade name TeleHealth Technologies or private labeled by valued added resellers (VAR).

RNK Products, Inc. will sell the PCP-1 Stethoscope through VARs and telemedicine integrators who may private label it with their own branding. The PCP-1 Stethoscope with sSOIP using static IP addresses will be available 2Q2011.

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C. R. Abbruscato
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