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First-in-class Technology to Detect Ear Infections

US-based PhotoniCare has developed a new first-in-class technology, TOMi™ Scope for non-invasive imaging of the middle ear to detect ear infections and more.

The TOMi™ Scope is designed to determine the presence or absence of fluid in the middle ear, as well as to characterise the fluid type, by using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) high-resolution depth imaging.

OCT is a non-invasive imaging technology that depends on near-infrared light waves to evoke 3D views within living tissue, much as ultrasound uses sound waves. With this technology, one can spot the presence of liquid behind the eardrum and even estimate what kind of fluid it is. This can help diagnose ear infections and track how they're responding to treatment.

The Scope system is comprised of a hand-held piece, which is tethered to a portable or wall-mountable console for reviewing and sharing images in real-time with patients and their parents.

It provides a real-time view of both the surface image that a traditional otoscope captures, but digitally and with very high quality, as well as more in-depth imaging of what lies behind the eardrum.

The fluid in the middle ear is seen as a primary indicator for determining infection and TOMi™ Scope is designed to eliminate speculation regarding the fluid.

The device allows physicians to visualise the fluid within the middle ear, the place where ear infections reside, and to measure the fluid's density - even within the presence of wax, upon which they can base their decisions.

The Scope could prove especially useful for pediatricians trying to determine whether a child's ear is infected - a common challenge.