The Remotoscope: The iPhone-based video otoscope from Georgia Tech that enables Telehealth for parents, school nurses, in-home caregivers, and hearing care professionals
It warms our heart here when we come across a nice development out of the labs of our alma mater: This one came out of the 1000+ student Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, the centerpiece of their 800,000 ft² Biotechnology Complex
Assistant Professor Wilbur Lam and his team came up with a clever hardware & software package to leverage the capabilities of the iPhone platform to turn it into an inexpensive-yet-high quality video otoscope: Remotoscope’s clip-on attachment uses the iPhone’s camera and flash as the light source. It also relies on a custom software app, enhanced by Brian Parise, a research scientist with Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Landmarc Research Center, which provides automatic zoom and crop, image preview, and auto calibration. The iPhone’s data transmission capabilities seamlessly send images and video to the patient’s electronic medical record, or to the physician’s inbox. This device is rather handy for parents of children who have recurrent ear infections; and also for parents of children who have hearing aids; but it can, of course, be used for any age.
Other uses would be having the physician remotely check for bulging or retracted eardrums before flying if a patient has a cold. Other professionals who would benefit from the Remotoscope are in-home caregivers and school nurses to provide remote imaging to the physician.
Finally, hearing aid professionals would have two uses for the Remotoscope as well: First, in the office and on house calls as they use a video otoscope now, i.e. for their own records and ENT referrals; and also for their patients, who would transmit images to their ENT, and also for inspecting things like hearing aid receiver & microphone openings, battery contacts, and other small things on the instruments themselves.
Watch this short video to see the Remototscope in operation:
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An FDA clinical trial for the Remotoscope is currently under way at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to see if the device can obtain images of the same diagnostic quality as what a physician sees with a traditional otoscope.