Frequently Asked Questions About Our Telehealth Technology
1. If I place an order, how long will it take to receive the equipment?
Once your order and payment are received, your shipment will be processed within 24 hours and usually shipped via Fedex Express Saver 3 day delivery, so you should be able to order and receive your stethoscope products within 4 business days. If you need it sooner than that, we can arrange FedEx overnight deliver for an additional charge.
2. For someone who is not technically oriented, can you explain briefly how the system works?
Sure. The software is loaded onto the doctor’s computer and onto a PC, computer or Windows® tablet at the patient site. Both sites log in from a Windows® desktop Icon with credentials we provide. The doctor simply selects the patient site from his software window and clicks connect. This generates a call that travels over the internet to the patient location, much like a phone call. The patient site clicks on answer and the connection is established. Then the doctor puts on his/her headset and listens to the stethoscope that has been placed on the patient in the remote location.
3. Can the stethoscope be used with my video conference software without having to shut it down or break the connections?
Yes, the sSOIP software runs side-by-side on the PC with your video conferencing software and the audio from the stethoscope does not interfere with the video conference audio.
4. Do I need a stethoscope on each end?
No, you will need a headset only on the physician end and the stethoscope (and recommended but not required) headset on the patient end.
5. Can this be used in home health and remote monitoring programs?
This is one of the fastest growing use areas for the telemedicine stethoscopes as hospitals and healthcare providers push care into the home and assisted living facilities to reduce readmissions in the post-discharge settings.
6. What about HIPAA concerns?
HIPAA guidelines are fully met from the technology side. All data transmitted is done so with 128 bit encryption and no data is ever stored on either the Telemedicine Communications Server (TMCS) or the Stethoscope User Database (SUD) server which provides login credentials to the TMCS. Accordingly, patient data is secure and can only be recorded/stored by the physician using the system, who in the end, is responsible for the patient’s medical data set.
7. How does this system compare to the Littman 3200 system?
For a full comparison, see the Steth Comparison document on the download page of the website. You can get there by clicking here. https://dta0yqvfnusiq.cloudfront.net/usbst28863394/2014/12/Steth-Comp.jpg
8. What is the cost of the stethoscope and do you provide a warranty?
The pricing for stethoscopes and related products can be found on the download page of this website or in the web store under the Shop tab at the top of the page. The stethoscope hardware is warranted for one year should it fail during normal use. In that case you would be shipped a replacement upon receipt of the defective unit.
9. I already have a stethoscope from another manufacturer. Is it possible to use your software platform with it?
No, the software was designed specifically to work with the PCP stethoscopes and cannot connect to or transmit from other manufacturer’s hardware.
10. I’m not sure exactly what I need and am hesitant to purchase from the website. Is there someone who can advise me on what I need for my use case and answer my questions before I purchase?
Absolutely, this is something we do very frequently. Just call our office number at the top of this page and one of our sales engineers will get right back with you to provide the assistance you need.
11. I am conducting telemedicine programs outside the United States and would like to add the PCP-USB stethoscope to my program. Are your stethoscopes available for sale outside of the US?
Yes, the stethoscopes are ISO 13485 Certified and can be sold in Canada, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Certification is also in progress in other countries as well.
12. Do I really need to purchase the software and related licenses to use the stethoscope? Can’t I just plug it in and use it through my telemedicine videoconferencing platform?
The stethoscopes are specialized devices that can be plugged into (and be recognized by) Windows® based computers and some telemedicine platforms. They appear to the PCs as microphones.
There are several reasons why most customers purchase both the hardware and software licenses:
- The stethoscope and sSOIP software constitute the package that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a Class II Medical Device. The FDA considers the signal processing software as an accessory to and therefore part of the stethoscope and thus regulates that software as a Class II device. If other software is used in place of sSOIP, that software must be approved by the FDA.
- The software provides a local loop back to the referring clinician (or presenter) that is with the patient so the referring clinician (or presenter) can hear the same sounds as the remote clinician. Hearing the stethoscope sounds enables the referring clinician (or presenter) to properly place the chest piece head on the patient.
- The sSOIP Auscultation Anywhere software includes controls for five different levels of filtering which provide much greater flexibility for the physician who wants to use the stethoscope in different clinical situations, i.e. heart, lungs, abdomen, carotids, vasculature, etc.
- The sSOIP software provides the means for the stethoscope audio stream to be completely separate from the room audio. The stethoscope sounds are too important to mix with the room audio.
- The sSOIP software also has built in recording capabilities so that the physician or examiner can optionally record the audio for use in research projects or to send to others for consultation.
- With the software license purchase, we provide full telephone tech support for the end users during normal business hours and will respond to after-hours calls in emergency situations.
Frequently Asked Questions – Technical
1. How can I test the PCP-USB Chest Piece with sSOIP-TX Anywhere, but without establishing an IP connection?
Plug the PCP-USB into the PC. Open sSOIP-TX Anywhere then press F6 to bring up the TX Properties window. The Stethoscope Input field should show the PCP-USB as an audio device input. If there are other audio device inputs, make sure you select the PCP-USB.
Under Local Monitoring, click on the button Test Audio Path. This will loop the signal from the PCP-USB to the local speaker output of the PC. Using a headset, you should clearly hear the PCP-USB signal. Adjust the speaker volume as needed. If you do not use a headset and the PCP-USB is near the speakers, feedback may result in some screeching.
You can adjust the Mic level in this window. When you are finished with this test, be sure to uncheck the Test Audio Path button.
2. How can I test the PCP-USB Chest Piece with sSOIP-TX Anywhere with an IP connection on one PC?
You can do this if you install both sSOIP-TX Anywhere and sSOIP-RX Anywhere on the same PC. When you do this, be sure to install sSOIP-TX Anywhere in a separate directory from sSOIP-RX Anywhere. (i.e. create two directories named sSOIP-TX Anywhere and sSOIP-RX Anywhere, then install the correlated versions in the present directories.)
Open both sSOIP-TX Anywhere and sSOIP-RX Anywhere. Log in to the TMCS using the usernames and passwords provided.
From the sSOIP-RX Anywhere main window, select the name of the TX end user from the Connect To drop down list then click on Connect. You should now hear the stethoscope sounds through the headset.
Even though this is a local connection, there may be some firewall challenges for very secure networks where all outside connections are blocked by default and have to be opened up as needed. sSOIP Anywhere clients log into TMCS to establish presence.
sSOIP Anywhere uses port 5222 to establish presence with the TMCS and port 3478 for STUN messaging for connection negotiations. So, those ports must be available for sSOIP Anywhere. The messaging is TCP/IP and the stethoscope data stream is UDP.
3. I hear two sets of heart beats when I test on one PC. How do I stop the “echo”?
Go to the sSOIP-TX Anywhere and press the F6 key. Unclick the Allow checkbox in Local Monitor. Click on OK. If the Local Monitor box is checked, you’ll hear the stethoscope sounds twice – once from the Transmit end and once from the Receive end.)
4. I’ve got everything working on one PC. How do I make a connection over my local LAN?
This is similar to the steps for testing on one PC except you would install sSOIP-TX Anywhere on one PC and sSOIP-RX Anywhere on a different PC on the LAN. Log in to the TMCS using the usernames and passwords provided. There should be minimal firewall issues over the LAN, but the assistance of the IT department may be needed.
5. I’ve got everything working between two PCs on my LAN. How do I make a connection over the Internet?
Depending on the security of the network, if not done so already, the firewalls may have to be configured to permit the sSOIP Anywhere connections. Other than that, it’s the same as a local connection.
1. How can I test the PCP – 1 Chest Piece without sSOIP?
Using the Sound window in Control Panel, enable the path from the Mic port to the Speaker port. The exact steps to do this depend on the audio card and the OS.
Once you can get the PCP – 1 signal to the speaker port, use a headset to listen to the audio. you may need to enable the Mic Boost (say, at +20dB to start). This demonstrates what the PCP – 1 sounds like without sSOIP, which is what it should still sound like with sSOIP. When you are finished with this testing, use the Sound window to disable the local feedback loop that connects the Mic port to the Speaker port.
2. How can I test the PCP – 1 Chest Piece with sSOIP-TX?
In the main sSOIP-TX window, click on Setup to show the setup options. If you have more than one choice in the Stethoscope Input drop down list, make sure you select the port that the PCP – 1 is plugged into. If you aren’t sure, you will need to try each choice until you get the right one. To do so, enable the Allow check box. Click Test Audio Path and unclick it after testing each available port option listed. Then click on OK. This routes the PCP – 1 signal from the Mic input port to the Speaker output port. It’s best to use the headset to avoid run away feedback that produces screeching audio.
You can adjust the Mic level in the Setup window, but you have to go to the Sound window in Control Panel to adjust the Mic Boost.
Every PC is a bit different and the sound options may very. you can check in the Sound window to make sure the Stethoscope is selected as the default Mic in the Recording tab. Note, the sound quality should be superb. If it isn’t and you need help troubleshooting, please contact your reseller.
3. Why am I hearing an echo when I test out the audio path?
While in Transmit Mode (TX), hit the F6 key to get to the Properties menu as shown below. Unclick the Allow button for Local Monitoring and then click the Test Audio Path.
4. I don’t get any sound at the TX when doing Test Audio Path. What should I do?
From the Transmit (TX), hit the F6 key to get to the Properties menu as shown below. Unclick the Allow button for Local Monitoring and then click the Test Audio Path.
5. I received an error in the download process that says the software was unable to find the license file?
The license file should be on the disc provided to you with the software. The license file must be in the same directory as the executable file (.exe) for it to be recognized. If you don’t see the license file on your disc, please contact your telemedicine reseller.
6. The username and password I was provided isn’t working.
Make sure the name of the organization is typed in exactly as it was provided on your username and password list. They should be all lowercase letters and/or numbers. Next, try closing down the software and then reopening it.
7. After downloading both sides of the software on one station, it appears the Receive end (RX) is labeled incorrectly as TX or vice versa. How do I fix this?
If you intent to install both TX and RX versions on the same PC, create two different destination folders before you start the installation. say c:\sSOIP-TX Anywhere and c:\sSOIP-RX Anywhere. During the installations, use these two folders for the TX and RX installs, respectively.
8. I am having trouble receiving a call from the physician?
First, make sure you are logged into sSOIP TX software. Next, a window should pop-up asking if you will take the call when a Clinician attempts to make a connection. Click Yes. If you are running other programs on the computer, check and make sure the window isn’t hiding behind others.
9. I hear a slight ringing while having an auscultation session?
Everyone’s computer settings are different and based on the sound settings, you may need to make some level adjustments to compensate for it. If you go to your Control Panel and then into Sound or under your Speaker Properties, there should be an option for various levels for the microphone gain. Try adjusting the Base to a lower level. You may also have to change the mic boost level. Then test the different levels until you reach the desired sound.
10. I tried to record a file but now can’t find it.
Check your subfolders. When you choose a folder it may have been placed under a main folder. Be careful when you do record a file and the New File window pops up that you use the desired folder.