Listening at least 400 times to different heart sounds on an iPod is an effective way to improve a doctor’s ability to detect a problem, a study published on Sunday showed.
For 90 minutes, 149 medical students listened 400 times to the five most frequent heart murmurs. The practice session improved the rate of detection by stethoscope to 80% from 40% among generalists.
The study by Temple University cardiologist Michael Barrett, was presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, a gathering of some 30 000 specialists.
The ability to detect heart anomalies is essential to finding a range of cardiac problems and can reduce the number of unnecessary tests like echocardiograms and stress tests, Barrett said.