Archive for ‘Otolaryngology’

The Latest on Cellscope’s Smartphone-Based Microscope and Otoscope

The Latest on Cellscope’s Smartphone-Based Microscope and Otoscope

The Latest on Cellscope’s Smartphone-Based Microscope and Otoscope

At the University of California Berkeley, a few handy researchers modified an off-the-shelf camera cellphone to produce a mobile microscope capable of 50x magnification. Coupled with the phone’s natural ability to send out images, the device may help to virtually bring dermatologists, pathologists and oncologists to remote areas of the world.

35354ber2 CellScope for Rural Microscopy On The Go

Using Bluetooth, wi-fi and cellular networks, a phone needs no modification itself. Capable of 50x magnification today, the devices could provide twice that. A smaller prototype features its own light source.

“This could be useful even at home,” suggests Fletcher [Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Berkeley --ed.], “where, for example, early warnings of a change in the shape of a mole could be sent to your clinician on a regular basis to monitor.”

In addition, cancer patients could conduct their own blood cell counts that today require larger microscopes and particle counters.

Dr. Lam, Pediatric Oncologist at UCSF, is one of the grad students working on CellScope. He adds, “By no means do we think this is going to replace those large particle counters. It’s just a good adjunct for the patient to have at home.”

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If you’re an experienced mobile or web developer interested in disrupting the way healthcare is delivered, you’ve come to the right place. We are builders, tinkerers and coders with a big vision and plenty of challenges to go around.


CellScope’s patent-pending devices and diagnosis support tools are currently being tested in hospitals, medical practices and homes around the country. We’re turning your smartphone into a the first ever digital first aid kit.


CellScope is an early-stage, VC-funded startup building mobile hardware and software systems for disease diagnosis. Our growing team has broad experience and an exciting vision for the future of healthcare delivery.

CellScope, a mobile health company based in San Francisco, is now focused on commercializing technologies for at-home diagnostic applications. We covered the startup before—most recently in 2009, and since then, the company has made significant progress. “Our first two products will be an otoscope and a dermascope attachment for common problems like ear infections and skin conditions, enabling telemedicine diagnosis from home,” Erik Douglas, the company’s CEO told Medgadget. “We use lower-magnification optics to capture a wider field, and a new illumination system to leverage the phone’s LED flash,” he says. The company is currently conducting pilot studies with doctors around the Bay Area.

The company’s technology uses a cell phone’s camera to capture diagnostic images. It could be used for skin exams and for analyzing blood samples. The smartphone-based otoscope could enable remote diagnosis of pediatric ear infections, which cause 30 million doctor visits annually in the United States.

The idea behind the company was hatched in the lab of UC Berkeley bioengineering professor Dan Fletcher several years ago when the firm’s CEO, Erik Douglas, was a post-doc at the university.

The company, which was a graduate of incubator Rock Health’s first class of startups in 2011, recently announced that it has received $1 million in seed funding from Kholsa Ventures.

In the video below, Douglas explains how the company is still figuring out how the technology “fits within the healthcare landscape [and] how traditional fee for service doctors can get paid for these sorts of things—even when it is more efficient for them, it is quicker for them, it is the same diagnosis, often better than what they would get in the traditional setting.”

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MD Hearing Aid line offers reasonable low-cost solution for persons with hearing loss

MD Hearing Aid line offers reasonable low-cost solution for persons with hearing loss

A study presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. shows that the MD Hearing Aid line offers a reasonable low-cost solution to those who are not using hearing aids or other amplification devices because of cost concerns.

In the study, researchers at the Michigan Ear Institute sought to evaluate a novel, inexpensive (under $200.) over- the-counter hearing aid regarding to its acoustic properties and also to test the hearing aid on patients with varying levels of hearing loss to evaluate their perceived benefit by using validated questionnaires.

Hearing loss affects approximately 34 million people in the United States, but hearing aid usage rates have historically remained at just 24%. One major reason for this low rate of use is that hearing aids are typically very expensive, with the average cost of a single hearing aid approximately $1,900. Medicare and most insurance companies do not cover this cost. Many medical studies have linked untreated hearing loss in the elderly with a higher risk of social isolation, depression, anxiety, and symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s dementia.

The MDHearingAid was evaluated using a Fonix 6500c Hearing Aid Analyzer, measured according to accepted standards. The measurements included saturated sound pressure level curve, high-frequency average full-on gain, frequency response, total harmonic distortion, equivalent input noise level, and input-output curve. Then the device was tested on a group of participants with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss who were unwilling or unable to purchase a custom hearing aid due to cost considerations. The participants were asked to wear the device for a minimum of 30 days and complete these self-reported surveys: “International Outcome Inventory – Hearing Aids” and “Satisfaction with Amplification in Daily Living”.

Researcher Seilesh Babu, M.D. found that the MDHearingAid met the acoustic targets. All participants demonstrated user satisfaction scores that were within the standard range for patients with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss. The study found that the low-cost MDHearingAid is electroacoustically adequate and a reasonable low-cost solution to meet the needs of those value- and cost-conscious patients who were not using amplification via a custom hearing device.

Dr. Babu stated that further development and investigation of these instruments is warranted, to provide a potential opportunity for greater numbers of persons with hearing loss to have access to hearing aids and reap the medical, social, and emotional benefits from improved communicative abilities.

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