Bringing Clarity to Effusion Diagnosis
The Clinical Problem
Middle ear effusions, such as otitis media with effusion (OME), are an unfortunate reality of childhood -- 90% of children at some point suffer from OME. Worse, around 9% of children endure chronic middle ear effusions that significantly impair hearing for an extended period of time. This can lead to developmental delays and learning difficulties. Many children who suffer from OME do not receive simple interventions such as ear tubes that can alleviate chronic OME.
The Diagnostic Problem
This problem persists because our diagnostic methods are lacking. Especially
in young children, accurately diagnosing OME is a challenge for pediatricians. The most commonly used method -- white light otoscopy -- only enabled pediatricians to be 53% accurate at diagnosing OME. Other diagnostic solutions are too complicated, inconclusive, or costly to be widely used in pediatrician offices.
The laser otoscope gives pediatricians more insight by giving them an additional illumination source. A pilot study using our technology showed up to 90% accuracy in detecting OME, while operating with the same simplicity and low-cost of a traditional otoscope. This revolutionary technology can enable doctors to have more confidence in their care and referrals for treatment.