French startup WeMed has developed a connected stethoscope by partnering with ultrafast polymer 3D printers maker Nexa3D and Henkel, a provider of functional polymers.

The partnership claims to have developed the world’s first additively manufactured connected SKOP stethoscope.

The SKOP is a medical device for remote auscultation, providing listening quality that is important for emergency situations and for isolated patients. The device features a biomimetic design based on the human ear to maximise performance.

To support WeMed develop, manufacture and launch its new product, Nexa3D and Henkel teamed up with French contract manufacturing provider Third.

The SKOP stethoscope is produced on the NXE400 ultrafast 3D printer using performance matched Henkel materials.

WeMed co-founder and CEO Cyrille Lecroq said: “We developed the SKOP in response to a global call for democratized, affordable tele-consulting healthcare solutions.

“From the get-go, it was obvious to us, that our biomimicry design, could only be manufactured using 3D printing.

“Together with our additive manufacturing expert partner, Third, we selected Nexa3D’s ultrafast 3D printers with Henkel’s customized materials as the best production solution to meet our productivity, reproducibility, precision, and cost requirements, so that we can quickly and deliver hundreds of thousands of SKOPs to waiting customers around the world.”

The WeMed SKOP is said to be the world’s first connected stethoscope to be additively produced in its entirety at scale with production volumes expected to reach more than 100,000 units per annum.

Third is anticipated to produce production volumes with a 5X smaller fleet of printers, with Nexa3D’s NXE400.

For manufacturing of the device, Nexa3D and Henkel has delivered a jointly developed custom manufacturing solution for WeMed.

According to WeMed, the SKOP stethoscope has already been tested and is currently being marketed.

Nexa3D COO Kevin McAlea said: “This project highlights the inherent advantages of our ultrafast additive manufacturing capabilities.

“The ability to perform rapid design iterations and design-based materials performance and color optimization, without any traditional manufacturing design constraints was essential to bringing this game-changing product to market quickly.”