AseptiScope: A Clean Glove for the Clinician's Third Hand
Follow AseptiScope on :
Scott Mader, President and CEO
While technology such as echocardiography has advanced cardiac and respiratory care, the humble stethoscope, in the hands of a skilled clinician, is still considered an invaluable tool for quickly auscultating heart and lung murmurs. It is an instrument so vital in any practitioners’ toolkit that it has earned the epithet of being the clinician’s third hand. However, as healthcare treatments progress, ensuring that the stethoscope meets health regulations has been all but forgotten. The importance of sterilizing stethoscopes has been often neglected due to its difficulty, and therefore, these contaminated vectors undermine the scrupulous hand hygiene efforts followed by physicians nationwide. This predicament only stands to highlight the conclusions of a study conducted by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, which states that stethoscopes harbor pathogen with contamination levels comparable to a clinician’s dominant hand.
Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic warranting a thorough assessment of infection prevention practices, it is no surprise that stethoscope etiquette is brought into the lens of healthcare authorities. The medical instrument has high utility in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and as such, should be used with vigilance to protect the lives of both patient and practitioner. AseptiScope™ was founded to meet the clinical needs in the infection control space and has designed intuitive products based on the situational analysis of market needs. The company has engineered solutions that help clinicians treat their patients without the risk of stethoscopes turning into vectors for disease transmission.
Prevent Infections in seconds
Considering the surge in demand for chest and cardiac auscultations due to the pandemic, there has been a subsequent necessity for stethoscope barriers that halt the spread of infection. The AseptiScope DiskCover™ system, although developed years prior to COVID 19, has evolved in parallel with the challenges posed by the contagious disease. The aptly named product provides single-use disk covers that keep the stethoscope safe from microbes. Early stethoscope barriers had been inherently flawed, in that they required handling and manipulation by the user before patient contact. With the DiskCover system, however, clinicians need only wave their hands in front of a touch-free sensor on the wall-mounted dispenser, and a new cover will be placed on the diaphragm of an inserted stethoscope. “The user presses the stethoscope into the application window and takes it back with a fresh disk cover; ready for a new, clean auscultation,” says Scott Mader, President and CEO of AseptiScope.
A unique product that emphasizes safety and adherence to health protocols, the DiskCover system provides clean, aseptic covers that have never been in contact with a human hand.
The user presses the stethoscope into the application window, and takes it back with a fresh disk cover; ready for a new, clean auscultation
The covers are stored in a Clean Cassette™ (approximately the size of a VHS tape) with a storage capacity of 400 disk covers. From their cleanroom production, the disk covers are housed in a controlled environment within the AseptiScope Clean Cassette, which is then placed in dispensers for application. Only after the cassettes are transported from the cleanroom to the dispenser are the covers available for use. A significant advantage that the DiskCover system offers is its user-friendliness and ease of operation. "With over 5.5 billion auscultations a year in the U.S alone, training every clinician to use the DiskCover system would be an untenable task,” adds Mader. AseptiScope tackles this issue by providing its brief, easy-to-follow instructions in a three-step procedure characterized as a “W.A.R.”on infection (an acronym for Wave, Apply, and Remove). The steps involve waving to activate the dispenser, evenly pressing the stethoscope diaphragm against the DiskCover, and finally, removing the instrument from the application window.
A Solution That Keeps the Pace with Clinicians
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires health practitioners to methodically disinfect their stethoscopes after every examination. Since microbes thrive at the rim of the diaphragm, the cleaning protocol requires the stethoscope to be cleaned for 60 seconds with iodine compounds and isopropyl alcohol. As one can fathom, this is a difficult guideline to follow with patients bustling through the clinicians’ doors by the minute. Studies show that only an abysmal 4 percent of healthcare facilities comply with this protocol, while others simply reuse stethoscopes on multiple patients. The simplicity of AseptiScope’s flagship DiskCover system directly addresses this massive gap in infection control by quickly providing a clean diaphragm in less than two seconds. It resolves technical issues associated with traditional cleaning procedures and improves worker efficiency by a wide margin. Some practitioners approach the compliance issue by using disposable stethoscopes. While this technique heavily contributes to the generation of medical waste, disposable stethoscopes are also often poorly manufactured with sub-par audibility. AseptiScope’s disk covers, on the other hand, are stored in a unit that has the footprint of a soap dispenser, while also maintaining the acoustic integrity of the stethoscope.
DiskCovers in a COVID-Afflicted World
The primary symptoms of the COVID-19 disease include respiratory and cardiac ailments, both of which are initially assessed with stethoscopes. Organizations have now realized the importance of proper stethoscope etiquette and are on the lookout for solutions that can help curb the spread of the pandemic. “The COVID-19 virus is a wake-up call to infection control, similar to how 9/11 impacted international security standards,” emphasizes Mader. AseptiScope strives to create and implement a portfolio of infection control products to keep both patients and healthcare workers safe. The company introduces the DiskCover System in late July and is already being evaluated in outpatient clinics, hospital intensive care units, and in cancer treatment centers, where immune compromised patients are at even higher risk for infection.
Description AseptiScope® is a privately funded San Diego, California based, clinical innovation company, formed in early 2016. The organization is founded and led by clinical innovation experts, leading medical researchers, and practicing physicians. Aseptiscope® is introducing a line of aseptic solutions aimed at improving clinician-to-patient infection control. Its flagship brand, the AseptiScope DiskCoverTM System, will provide an evidence-based solution for the longstanding and increasingly prominent dilemma of stethoscope contamination. The AseptiScope mission is to design, develop, manufacture and commercialize novel solutions that ensure “Infection Protection for Clinician & Patient
This content is copyright protected
However, if you would like to share the information in this article, you may use the link below: