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Our Company Roots, Stem From Our Name

René Laënnec [ley-nek] was a French physician and musician. He spent years honing a skill of carving his own wooden flutes. This led him to invent the stethoscope in 1816 while working at the Hôpital Necker.


Dr. René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec wrote in the classic treatise De l'Auscultation Médiate:


"In 1816, I was consulted by a young woman laboring under general symptoms of diseased heart, and in whose case percussion and the application of the hand were of little avail on account of the great degree of body weight. The other method just mentioned direct auscultation being rendered inadmissible by the age and sex of the patient, I happened to recollect a simple and well-known fact in acoustics, ... the great distinctness with which we hear the scratch of a pin at one end of a piece of wood on applying our ear to the other. Immediately, on this suggestion, I rolled a quire of paper into a kind of cylinder and applied one end of it to the region of the heart and the other to my ear, and was not a little surprised and pleased to find that I could thereby perceive the action of the heart in a manner much more clear and distinct than I had ever been able to do by the immediate application of my ear."


At the time, a physician placing the ear on the body was the common way of conducting auscultation of the patient. René was then hard at work carving some wood cylinders to make the first stethoscope. In the early 1820s, the stethoscope gained quite a bit of popularity across Europe. However, as with all medical innovation, not every believed this technology was appropriate for the profession. Alas, it eventually was iterated by others to become the modern device we see around the necks of physicians around the world.


Dr. Laënnec had an unrelenting passion for innovating to improve the way he treated his patients. At Leynek Medical, we follow that same passion, by carrying the torch on innovating the next generation device for improving patient assessment.

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