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3M Corp Press Release


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Press Release regarding successful 3M & HELP partnering for tsunami relief efforts in India.

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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3M Corp Press Release

  1. 1. Contact: Stephanie Sanderson 3M (651) 733-8588 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 4100WS Helps Nonprofit Deliver Medical Care to India's Tsunami Survivors Via Telemedicine Ambient Noise Reduction, Recording and Transmission Capabilities Help Enhance Effectiveness of Telemedicine Efforts Saint Paul, Minn. (April 24, 2006) – Surrounded by the commotion of hundreds of tsunami refugees and the relentless blare of traffic noise, shouts and children's cries, a volunteer at a mobile medical clinic in southern India uses a newly donated electronic stethoscope to listen to a young girl's lungs. What he hears astounds him. Sounds, through a stethoscope, that are amplified and clearly audible, yet without any interference from the racket of the open-air clinic. Nearly 8,000 miles away in Arizona, a doctor is also listening. Digital sound files recorded by the stethoscope have already been sent to him via satellite. There is no indication of ambient noise. In fact, the tone and clarity of the digital sound allows the doctor to detect the subtle, dry crackling sounds of tuberculosis. This was a scene from a real-life telemedicine effort at a tsunami relief camp outside Bhimavaram in southern India this February. Volunteers of the nonprofit organization Humanitarian Emergency Logistics and Preparedness (HELP) relied on the 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope Model 4100WS, donated by the company, as a key telemedicine tool to provide follow-up medical relief in the region. – more –
  2. 2. Page 2 – Tsunami telemedicine Thanks to advances in digital, satellite and medical equipment technologies, telemedicine is changing the face of healthcare by bringing specialist care to rural areas, disaster zones and remote, poverty-stricken regions of the world. Even the stethoscope – the clinician's most basic diagnostic tool – has evolved into a sophisticated precision instrument capable of managing, recording and transmitting sound to enable more effective telemedicine. Providing the latest in advanced auscultation technology, the Littmann Model 4100WS reduces ambient noise by an average of 75 percent, offers amplification up to 18 times greater than acoustic (non-electronic) stethoscopes, and records and saves digital sound files that can then be downloaded to IBM-compatible computers or Pocket PCs. These capabilities enabled HELP volunteers to overcome many of the difficulties associated with practicing telemedicine in one of the poorest regions of the world. A Triumph of Technology: HELP's Telemedicine Efforts in India With Dr. Alan Michels of Arizona providing expert diagnostics and oversight from the United States, HELP recently operated four mobile medical clinics in India. The first mobile clinic was set up in a relief camp of tsunami survivors who had been displaced inland. "This was a camp of 1,200 grass huts, without plumbing, electricity or anything even close to resembling a bathroom," explained HELP President Randy Roberson. "As you can imagine, our telemedicine efforts provided some of the only relief the refugees had known for nearly 1½ years." The HELP volunteer medical team examined hundreds of patients, with ailments ranging from tuberculosis, elephantiasis and HIV to heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders and hygiene-related skin infections. The team referred the serious cases to Dr. Michels in the United States using a satellite link, an advanced laptop computer and peripheral medical devices, such as the Littmann Model 4100WS. Via telemedicine, Dr. Michels was able to see and interview patients, and review their vital signs as well as medical histories. – more –
  3. 3. Page 3 – Tsunami telemedicine Littmann Model 4100WS in Action The noise reduction capabilities of the newly donated stethoscope quickly became evident to Dr. Michels. During teleconferences with HELP staff, Dr. Michels could hear the traffic sounds and noise from the hundreds of refugees who had gathered at the clinic. "It astounded me that the lung and heart sounds that Randy had recorded and sent to me had none of that peripheral noise," he said. "In fact, I could hear the subtle crackling sounds of TB patients with much more ease." The HELP volunteers in India were accustomed to the unique challenges of triaging large numbers of patients. They also anticipated the chaos and noise that accompany these environments. “But, we weren’t ready for how the 3M stethoscope moved us right past many of the challenges,” said Roberson. “The ambient noise reduction capabilities of the Littmann 4100WS were nothing short of amazing.” The Littmann Model 4100WS incorporates 3M's proprietary Ambient Noise Reduction (ANR) technology, which reduces ambient noise by an average of 75 percent, without filtering out critical body sounds. Noise from the room enters the stethoscope through a thin gap in the chestpiece. Once inside, this noise meets the ambient noise that has traveled through the patient’s body and entered the chestpiece through the diaphragm. The ambient noise, traveling the two pathways, cancels itself out, leaving only the heart, lung and other body sounds clinicians need to hear. The stethoscope provides superior acoustics with amplification up to 18 times greater than non- electronic stethoscopes. It also comes with proprietary Sound Analysis Software. This hardware and software combination enabled HELP volunteers to record, store, visualize and share digital sound files. "The recording, infrared transmission and visual display capabilities were extremely useful, giving us not only a phonocardiogram, but a great place for keeping track of data on each patient," said Roberson. – more –
  4. 4. Page 4 – Tsunami telemedicine For HELP, another important advantage of the Littmann Model 4100WS was its power source: two AAA alkaline batteries. "We’re usually in rural parts of the third world and often during disasters. We can't be dependent on 110- or 220-volt power," Roberson pointed out. "The 4100 performed very well hour after hour simply with batteries." A Scope Designed for Telemedicine, Teaching The Littmann Model 4100WS offers the very latest in auscultation technology to meet the demanding needs of teaching and other sophisticated applications that require recording, such as telemedicine. The proprietary software that comes with the state-of-the-art auscultation instrument lets clinicians and students see exactly what they are hearing on IBM-compatible computers or Pocket PCs. The Model 4100WS enhances teaching opportunities, serves as a diagnostic aid and allows more effective use of telemedicine. About 3M Health Care 3M Health Care, one of six major 3M business segments, is dedicated to improving the practice, delivery and outcome of patient care. 3M Health Care is a leading provider of solutions for medical, dental, pharmaceutical and health information systems markets. Key brands from the 3M Medical Division include: Tegaderm, Steri-Strip, Red Dot, Littmann, Micropore, Attest, and Ioban. About 3M - A Global, Diversified Technology Company Every day, 3M people find new ways to make amazing things happen. Wherever they are, whatever they do, the company's customers know they can rely on 3M to help make their lives better. 3M's brands include Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Vikuiti. Serving customers in more than 200 countries around the world, the company's 67,000 people use their expertise, technologies and global strength to lead in major markets including health care; consumer and office; display and graphics; electronics and telecommunications; safety, security and protection services; industrial and transportation. For more information, including the latest product and technology news, visit – more –
  5. 5. Page 5 – Tsunami telemedicine 3M, Tegaderm, Steri-Strip, Littmann, Micropore, Attest, Ioban, Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Red Dot, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Vikuiti are trademarks of 3M. About HELP Humanitarian Emergency Logistics and Preparedness (HELP) is a nonprofit humanitarian organization devoted to meeting the needs of the many victims of natural and man-made disasters on a global basis. From the earthquake-ravaged neighborhoods of Colombia, El Salvador and Turkey and the tragedy of floods, poverty and AIDS in Africa to the heartbreaking refugee camps of the Kosovo war, famine in India and Bangladesh and the tsunami-devastated shores of Southeast Asia, HELP has been there offering a cup of cool water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, medicine to the wounded and shelter to the homeless. Our “Hand Up, Not a Hand Out” approach to relief and development ensure true effectiveness while also offering true accountability. In 2005, HELP joined forces with Interactive Medical Solutions (IMS) and its President, Dr. Alan Michels. For more information, visit ###