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Bluetooth Otoscope

  [vote for,

In just a few years I expect that certain common medical instruments (the ear scope, blood pressure gauge, thermometer) will be cost reduced and have an added bluetooth capability.

Then, when your kid has an earache, you can just snap a picture of the inside of each ear and send it directly to your doctor, who may be able to save the time and expense of an office visit.

mzellers, Nov 06 2009

Digital Otoscope, USB output http://www.pcgears....ult.aspx?oid=290677
[jutta, Nov 06 2009]

Wikipedia: 3G http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3G
[jutta, Nov 06 2009]

Wikipedia: Bluetooth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth
[jutta, Nov 06 2009]

Bluetooth earpiece with remote-controlled scratching brush Bluetooth_20earpiec...0scratching_20brush
Similar field of endeavour [8th of 7, Nov 06 2009]


       The thing that keeps you from having to see the doctor would be that you happen to own a digital otoscope. It doesn't matter whether it's connected via cable, bluetooth, or swapping memory cards around.
jutta, Nov 06 2009

       Oh! Good point, I didn't realize that that was the poster's confusion; I thought they'd go from otoscope to PC or laptop, and took for granted that they'd just email the data from there. But yeah, swapping bluetooth for 3G would work, too. Erm. mzellers?
jutta, Nov 06 2009

       By the time an otoscope becomes a general household item, the database of pictures on the desktop cray will be able to tell you whether you should see a doctor. Probably your whole life of medical variables will be there to register change against.
wjt, Nov 06 2009

       My otoscope cost me several hundred quid and it was the cheapest i could find. It uses halogen bulbs which break if they come into contact with humid air, and each bulb costs something like twenty quid to replace. The price, i imagine, is due to the optics. I don't think they're going to get cheaper. There's also a slight skill issue involving actually being able to observe the eardrum, but that's not insurmountable. There are, however, lots of skills like that which people don't generally learn.   

       Things may have changed dramatically in the area of optical diagnostic equipment since i bought it, but i'm not aware of it. Amazingly, for the first time this place has triggered me into doing something work-related!   

       Later: Well stone me! I don't like the idea of having to plug it into a PC, but i absolutely do like the idea of the white LEDs, and i've long wondered why they don't do that.
nineteenthly, Nov 06 2009

       I think the real problem here is whether doctors can do a proper diagnosis using limited information. Every time a doctor has used an otoscope on me they have also looked down my throat, felt my glands and asked me loads of questions.   

       The only time I've seen remote diagnostics done well is when I was providing videoconference support for heart surgery. There were whole load of surgeons watching and discussing a new procedure in a hotel near the hospital. It worked well because the camera was operated by a surgeon who knew what to point it at.
wagster, Nov 06 2009

       There's no substitute for physical presence, but this may sometimes be impossible. For instance, someone might be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean or the Antarctic or in orbit at the time, particularly if they're adolescents.
nineteenthly, Nov 06 2009


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