Thinklabs is located in Centennial, Colorado in metropolitan Denver - the view that inspires us each day
was founded in 1991 by Clive Smith, a graduate in Electrical Engineering
at Caltech. The company was formed to do research and development in electronics and
signal processing for medical and communications applications.
In the mid 90's, Smith read a paper in Circulation that indicated that
stethoscope acoustics had essentially not improved since Laennec built
the first stethoscope in 1816. Physicians confirmed that auscultation
was a difficult skill to develop and that even top-of-the-line
conventional stethoscopes did a poor job of amplifying heart sounds. It
seemed illogical that the advanced technology that Thinklabs had
applied to other problems had never been used to improve the
A literature review revealed that the concept of an electronic
stethoscope was not new. Einthoven, who invented the ECG, had tried
placing a microphone (then a new invention) in a stethoscope in the
late 1800’s. For a century, the road to perfect auscultation had then
been littered with the carcasses of failed electronic stethoscope
Thus began Smith’s quest to develop a 21st-century stethoscope. Many
technologies were tested and rejected. The breakthrough came during one
of many all-night research sessions, with a reframing of the question:
How can one create an electrical phenomemon that acts just like the air
in a conventional stethoscope? All the benefits of advanced electronic
techonology would then accrue, the limitations of sound in air tubes
could be eliminated, and above all, the authentic sound of a
stethoscope would be preserved so physicians would not require any ear
Smith set up an electric field behind the diaphragm, replacing air
pressure with electric field intensity. Thus was the Electromagnetic
Diaphragm created. Thinklabs has multiple patents issued, and numerous patents
pending related to stethoscope technology.
Product development followed research, and 3 generations of
electronic stethoscopes were tested before determined that the product was perfect
enough. The ds32 was released in late 2003. The ds32a+ represents the
5th generation of digital electronic stethoscope technology.
Today, Thinklabs is a specialist company, fully dedicated to the
development of fine electronic stethoscopes, and to facilitating the
clinician-patient connection at every level.
Contact Us for more information.