For over a hundred years, the otoscope has been the standard tool for ear examination. It’s basically a penlight and a magnifying glass. There has been no way to see beyond the eardrum into the middle ear without making an incision in the eardrum. Care providers have had no choice but to make subjective diagnoses based largely on the appearance of the eardrum, resulting in misdiagnoses of up to 50%. In the search for a solution, there has never been a method to non-invasively ascertain the contents of the middle ear, a key determinant when considering an infection diagnosis such as AOM – until now!.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an established non-invasive imaging technology similar to ultrasound, except that it uses near-infrared light waves instead of sound waves to provide 3-D views inside living tissue. The resolution of OCT is 10x greater than ultrasound. Photos courtesy of the Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In ophthalmology, OCT is the gold standard for examining the retina. The problem: OCT is housed in large desktop systems that aren’t suitable for ear exams.
PhotoniCare has re-engineered OCT so that it fits in a hand-held device that allows physicians to see into the middle ear, at last.
Clinical data: potential to revolutionize otitis media diagnosis, treatment.
The PhotoniCare technology platform is built on a foundation of clinical research and peer-reviewed studies in subject areas ranging from the applications of OCT to the link between biofilms and middle ear infection requiring tube surgery. A complete list of studies is available upon request.