Endoscope-i can see clearly

  • 16 September 2013
Endoscope-i can see clearly
A screenshot of the endescope-i app

A Birmingham surgeon has created an endoscopic iPhone system so clinicians can record and view videos and images of endoscopies in real time.

The ’endoscope-i’ consists of an endoscope adapter and an app, which are used together to film endoscopies of the ear, nose and throat.

Ajit George, an ear, nose and throat surgical registrar at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, created the system with Chris Coulson, a consultant otologist, and Mark Prince, a lecturer in engineering.

George told EHI that the system could upload the video to the trust’s electronic patient record system.

“Being able to record the images and videos means it makes it much easier. We now use it to document patients, so that if a patient comes to my clinic I will use it to show the patient what’s happening,” he said.

“We use wi-fi to send the video from the phone to the computer. We feel it delivers a much more valuable service. We then put it into the patient’s electronic record.

“We used to draw these things. But when we’re reviewing a hole in the eardrum, it’s hard to judge if it has got better from looking at a drawing.”

George said several other specialties at Heart of England, including a cardiothoracic surgeon, dermatology, anaesthetics and plastics, have taken an interest in the project.

The team behind endoscope-i initially produced 30 adapters with money from their own pockets and sold all of them to colleagues around the hospital.

It has just ordered several thousand iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 adapters and has been in talks with healthcare organisations in both the US and Australia about taking the system.

The trust has also put in a bid to the Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards Technology Fund for future development of endoscope-I, which George suggested could have many uses, for example in reducing referrals and making services more convenient for patients.

“If a patient goes to the GP with an earache and the GP thinks the patient has got a burst eardrum, the GP will then refer a patient to hospital,” he said.

“If the GP took a video, they could send it to us along with the patient history and we could deal with a lot of referrals without seeing the patient.

“Specsavers and Boots are our big providers for hearing aids, so that’s another avenue we could explore. People could just pop into the shop or the chemist, they could use the device and send the video to us.”

The project has been nominated for the EHI Awards 2013, which will hold their gala dinner in London on 10 October.

George will be speaking about the app in the EHI Awards Theatre at EHI Live 2013 at the NEC in Birmingham on 5-6 November. The theatre is a feature of the free show that gives visitors the opportunity to find out about some of the cutting edge healthcare IT developments and projects going on at trusts that are entered for the awards. This year, the show is free for all visitors to attend.


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