One of the best-connected tech devices I’ve reviewed in recent years is the OTO from CellScope. It is an optical attachment that turns your iPhone 5 or 6 (not all models- please see the video) into a full functioning otoscope. It attaches to the iPhone via either a full size or quarter panel adapter depending on the model, and easily snaps in place over the lens of the phone. It uses standard disposable speculums including Welch Allyn speculums.
The app enables clinicians to capture images or videos of the eardrum and ear canal, and then share these immediately with patients. This enables you to share your observations with patient and parent. I find that patient and parents appreciate this and they are more likely to take the full course of medication prescribed and follow up if you recommend this. There is a clinical version and a home version. The clinician version comes with an insufflation bulb and an insufflation port. This is helpful in distinguishing a retraction pocket from a hole in the TM.
You can copy the images or video into your electronic medical record using the app or a clinician web based portal. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s nice to take a picture of a condition – such as a foreign body, or a possible cholesteatoma, and send these to your ENT consultant to get their opinions regarding further care or treatment options.
The device sells for $299, but it is well constructed, and gives you capabilities beyond that of a standard clinical otoscope. The Welch Allyn Digital Macroview Otoscope sells for about $1000 and the Firefly Video Otoscope for around $400, so the OTO is reasonably priced.