This Raspberry Pi stethoscope uses AI to listen for heart disease

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Shebin Jose Jacob)

As much as we love seeing the Raspberry Pi used for fun gaming projects and entertainment purposes, it's really cool to see it used in something like the medical industry. Today we've got a really unique project to share with a lot of helpful potential. Maker and developer Shebin Jose Jacob is using a Raspberry Pi 5 to drive his AI-powered stethoscope.

The  standard stethoscope is a device to help you hear sounds within the body by focusing the acoustic pressure waves to the listener's ears via tubes. You might be wondering how AI comes into play. According to Jacob, the stethoscope uses machine learning to evaluate irregularities in heartbeats. If an abnormal rhythm is detected, the AI system can trigger an alert.

Jacob goes on to explain that this process is called auscultation. Using models trained with complex algorithms, AI can recognize healthy patterns from potential areas of concern. This makes it possible to use the Raspberry Pi stethoscope in a professional setting with not just raw data but a head start on troubleshooting.

Hardware-wise, the system was first designed using a Raspberry Pi 5. Because this is the latest model, it works wonders when it comes to performance. However, Jacob wanted to make the unit mobile so the final build uses a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. It's connected to an omnidirectional microphone that stands in where the bell and chest piece are on a regular stethoscope. A 400mAh LiPo battery keeps things portable.

The AI system was built using VIAM which lets you create smart devices from scratch with lots of room for customization. It's working alongside TensorFlow—more specifically TensorFlow Lite on the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.

If you want to see this Raspberry Pi project in action, you can check it out over at Hackster. There you'll also find a complete build guide and breakdown of its construction.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.