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How We Came to Improve Our Adscope™ Stethoscope

Written By: 
Cindy Maley / Product Manager

Some product enhancements are imagined by our in-house product development team. But many of the product improvements we make come from suggestions conveyed by ADC consumers, our distribution partners, or some combination of the two.

It is one thing to design a product and field test it before launch. Like all responsible manufacturers, we do that. But nothing rivals the feedback from the medical professional that uses the product day in and day out. If there’s a weakness, no matter how minor, it will be revealed by the millions of professionals that use our products daily. And the internet makes it easier than ever for empowered consumers to share their product experiences – good or bad. We take EVERY suggestion seriously no matter how small - from those on how we can improve our packaging or instructions for use, to recommendations on how to increase durability or operational ease.

We knew our legendary line of Adscope™ premium stethoscopes, while among the world’s best, could be made even better. So we put a team together to pour over the hundreds of comments – many of them online- others that accompany units returned under warranty - and evaluate their merits. And here are the improvements we made as a result of YOUR feedback:

The new Adscope™ packagingPackaging

We started with the packaging. Our consumers loved it, but our retailers wanted us to make it better and to differentiate it from similarly packaged competitive products. We studied the way other best-of-breed professional products were packaged and interviewed our retailers. The result – our new Adscope™ package with a window that displays the chestpiece (business end of the scope) and part of the tubing while better protecting the contents in a molded tray. Whether you purchase this product on line, through a brick and mortar retailer or from the medical dealer that services your practice or institution – this 4 piece packaging is a distinct step up from the traditional foam lined box.

Engraved Markings

When we first launched the Adscope™ line we offered just two models – today we manufacture 14 in hundreds of model options. Some of our chestpieces were stamped, others laser engraved, but none had the actual series number on the product. Consumers would call for parts and not know which model they owned. Starting in late 2013, we began standardizing the marking – laser engraving all models. At a minimum it now includes the product number series (such as 603). Cardiology and platinum models also contain a serial number. The new laser engraving is not only better looking, it’s more informative as well.

AFD Technology

We expanded the availability of our tunable technology – we call AFD – Adjustable Frequency Design - from just a couple models to a total of 7 INCLUDING our best-selling 603 series. Our proprietary AFD technology allows the user to selectively tune low or high frequencies merely by altering chestpiece pressure. It is now available on our 600, 601, 603, 612, 614, 615 and 618 series Adscopes™.

Adsoft™ eartips

One of the most important parts of the scope is also the smallest – the earpieces. They are the interface between instrument and practitioner. They should be comfortable and provide a snug aural fit to eliminate leakage. They should also be durable. Our legacy Adsoft™ eartips used a threaded insert that could, over time, crack, strip, or loosen and allow the eartip to fall off. Although the percentage of consumers requesting free replacement eartips was small, we knew we could do better. And we did. We made two changes to the design at the same time. First, we added a fitting to the headset to allow our eartips to snap on. No threads means nothing to break or strip. We also changed the eartip constructions from PVC to silicon. Silicon is hypoallergenic and retains its shape better making them more durable and comfortable. Finally, we also machined an adapter that would allow the millions of legacy Adscopes™ with a threaded headset to be converted to use these new snap on Adsoft™ plus eartips. Not only do you not have to purchase a new scope or headset to take advantage of the new Adsoft™ plus eartips we’ll provide the adapter and eartips free of charge to any registered owner of Adscopes™ on request. How many manufacturers do you know that would do that?

Same Warranty – Better Message

We’ve always had the best warranty on our Adscopes™. We simply did a poor job of communicating it. Our dealers complained that some competitive scope warranties were more comprehensive. In fact, they were not.

So we rewrote the warranty verbiage – the legalese that most don’t read - to better reflect our best-in-class warranty service. All Adscopes™ except the 609 and 641 are unconditionally warranted for life (the 609 and 641 are warranted for 5 years). If your scope is registered you can call in for consumable parts (like eartips or diaphragms). And if you send in your scope for warranty service, we’ll refurbish it to make it like new during the warranty period. That refurb EVEN includes complimentary retrofitting of the new Ultra Adsoft™ eartips.

A special thanks to the hundreds of consumers and dealers that shared their suggestions. As you can see, we listened!

Do you have other suggestions for product improvements? Tell us in the comments below.