Turning smartphones into medical devices

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It’s just one of the niftiest things around. Describing the TYM smartphone otoscope in a News-Medical interview, Helene Viatge, business development project manager Cupris say, ‘It enables users to capture clinical images, add information, audio recordings, and text input.

“The traditional device manufacturers used by doctors such as Welch Allyn, Keeler and Heine aren’t digital. It means that they have an external light source (with a battery) and are used to look into the ears but the doctors can’t capture the images.

“Thus, traditional otoscopes do not have the benefit of allowing users to store images, to track conditions over time, to explain to medical students and to share images remotely for second opinions. In addition, the size of the image that can be seen through standard existing otoscopes is nowhere near as large and clear as the one captured by TYM.

“TYM was created with the belief that most primary care devices such as the otoscope haven’t evolved since created and that smartphone technology could greatly improve healthcare delivery and make doctors’ life easier and more efficient.

“TYM comes along with the Cupris Health Platform (app and web platform). It enables users to: capture clinical images of patient conditions using their smartphones; add information using questionnaires, audio recordings, text input, and other tools built into the smartphone app; securely connect with other Cupris users to share cases with them through the cloud service; and discuss and monitor patient cases, and receive diagnoses of patient conditions without seeing patients in person.

“The software platform is cross-specialty so can be used for the remote consultation of a wide variety of health complaints. If the other HCPs aren’t using Cupris Health Platform, they will be sent an invitation to join. You can in between share with them a pdf of the full patient case (easily exported through the app).

“Cupris is NHS IG Toolkit compliant. In addition, all data stored and shared through Cupris Health Platform is encrypted twice, following the AES256 standard.

“Finally, our server provider, UK Fast, is an approved N3 connector. Our infrastructure has been reviewed and approved by an approved N3 aggregator, Skyscape. TYM images and videos, as well as patient information collected through Cupris Health Platform, can be integrated easily with EMIS Web, the biggest EMR provider in the UK.

“Cupris is also in discussions with the other EMR providers to integrate with them. Doctors can always export images as a pdf and attached them to the patient EMR.”

Regarding feedback: Viatge said: We have received excellent feedback so far about TYM. Doctors love being able to show their patients what is wrong with them and better explain the condition and treatment. Most of them says they have rarely seen such a clear image and it will make their life easier to use such a device. The ability to store and share is obviously of a great advantage and they consider it as a significant improvement for education and training as well.”

News-Medical interview

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