A1 Journal article – refereed
Smartphone Otoscopy Performed by Parents

List of Authors: Erkkola-Anttinen N, Irjala H, Laine MK, Tähtinen PA, Löyttyniemi E, Ruohola A
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Telemedicine and e-Health
Journal name in source: Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association
Journal acronym: Telemed J E Health
ISSN: 1530-5627
eISSN: 1556-3669


Introduction:Implementation of pediatric telemedicine has been emphasized. We examined whether parents could perform smartphone otoscopy for the diagnosis of otitis media.

Materials and Methods:We included children (6–35 months) attending day care with at least one episode of acute otitis media (AOM) within 90 days of the study entry. The timing for a teaching intervention was randomized. In the immediate teaching group, parents were taught smartphone otoscopy and cerumen was removed at the first visit. The delayed teaching group received the teaching intervention after 1 week's independent use. During the 60 study days, parents performed home examinations. The main outcome, the diagnostic quality of the tympanic membrane videos to determine healthy ear, otitis media with effusion (OME) and AOM diagnoses was measured with a structured video analysis independently by three physicians. Parents' experience was measured with a questionnaire.

Results:AOM could be detected or excluded in 87% (609/699) of the videos during acute symptoms. After the teaching intervention, healthy ear, OME, or AOM could be diagnosed in 40% (521/1,293) of the videos. During the first week's intervention, one of the three diagnoses was attained in 33% (50/153) and in 12% (22/179) of the videos in the immediate and delayed teaching group, respectively (p < 0.001). The performance of the smartphone otoscopy examination was easy in 85% (35/41) of families.

Discussion:After been taught, parents are able to perform smartphone otoscopy for the remote detection or exclusion of AOM.

Conclusions:Future studies should assess the clinical usefulness of parent-performed smartphone otoscopy.

Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 10:20