The FDA has just cleared the first device that allows for imaging of fluid within the middle ear, even when there’s a substantial amount of wax.
The TOMi Scope from PhotoniCare, a company based in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, relies on optical coherence tomography, an imaging technique that produces 3D representations of translucent tissues, to spot the presence of liquid behind the ear drum and even estimate what kind of fluid it is. This can help to diagnose ear infections and track how they’re responding to treatment.
“Current tools can only provide a view of the surface of the eardrum, forcing physicians to make an assessment with very limited information, or to employ invasive surgical procedures to accurately identify middle ear pathologies,” said Diego Preciado, M.D., Ph.D. of the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., a lead investigator on clinical studies of the device, in a press release. “TOMi Scope’s advanced light-based technology could dramatically alter the way children with ear problems are evaluated, enhancing our ability to inform optimal treatments.”
“Clinicians seeking to be more accurate and confident in their assessment of middle ear fluid and fluid type will find this new technology using light wave detection very helpful,” added Michael Pichichero, M.D., Director of the Rochester General Hospital Research Institute and Research Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. “The fact that it works well even in the presence of significant wax build-up is of great value. Wax continues to be a huge problem in middle ear diagnosis.”
For more details about this technology and the company that developed it, check out our recent interview with Ryan Shelton, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of PhotoniCare.
Here’s a PhotoniCare promo video for the TOMi Scope:
Product page: TOMi Scope