Telemedicine for ear diseases with the smartphone otoscopes
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A recent study suggests that in Covid 19 pandemic, smartphone otoscopes telemedicine can be very helpful in reducing patient follow-up and improves patient satisfaction.

This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes and satisfaction of ear patients who participated in the smartphone otoscopes telemedicine via WeChat.

Patients in this study included newly diagnosed outpatients and online patients who did not undergo an outpatient diagnosis. Patients performed regular ear self-examinations, took pictures at home using their smartphone endoscopes, and submitted images to a WeChat community. Otolaryngologists gave timely online feedback. All of the following data were recorded: patient's age and gender, disease duration, outpatient diagnosis, side, telemedicine duration, number of telemedicine visits, outcomes, satisfaction.

A total of 74 patients were included in the study, including 39 males and 35 females. Of these patients, 68 were outpatients, and 6 directly participated in telemedicine online.

--The patient's disease duration ranged from 1 day to 15 days. The mean duration was 8.1 days for telemedicine.

--The mean number of visits was 2.7 times for telemedicine.

--68 of the 74 patients were cured, 6 were improved, and 0 were ineffective. Almost all patients were pleased with the telemedicine service, 71.9 0% were very satisfied, 28.10% were very satisfied, and 0% were dissatisfied.

Overall, smartphone otoscopes telemedicine can decrease outpatient follow-up, reduce the risk of cross-infection, increase telemedicine accuracy, and improve patient satisfaction. It is worthy of clinical application in the COVID-19 era.

American Journal of Otolaryngology