French physician René Laennec invented the first stethoscope in 1816, using a paper tube to bring sound from the chest to the ear. Twenty-five years later, George P. Camman developed the first stethoscope with an earpiece for each ear. This design would be used for over a hundred years with little modification.
In the early 1960s, American cardiologist Dr. David Littmann has developed a new stethoscope with better acoustic performance, turning it into a powerful diagnostic tool. Today most physicians use it as part of their physical examination to assess, diagnose and monitor their patients.