CellScope Parent Tales: Macaroni Shells & Cheese

One of the many perks of working at CellScope is having the Oto at home to be able peek inside a friend or family member’s ears whenever they suspect discomfort. However weird that may seem, it’s a handy tool to have around. Many of our CellScope team members are also parents, and they share and empathize with the common parental experience of wondering: “Is it an ear infection?”, “Should we call the doctor?”, “Does he need to go to the ER?”

Crockett, one of our esteemed software engineers and parent of three, emailed the team with such a great story about using his Oto at home that we knew we had to share it with our readers. Continue reading

Yuck! What’s In That Ear?

Oto 2014-05-29 2355-49 Left Ear 2 (2)

A fungal ear infection captured by Dr. TK Venkatesan with the CellScope Oto.

Nature frequently uses the same warning colors (red, yellow, black) that humans use to advertise dangerous situations. In this case, the yellow color seen in the ear canal above tells us that something is not normal inside this patient’s ear.

Dr. TK Venkatesan, an Otolaryngologist and CellScope Pioneer from Chicago, IL, explains that the color you see is caused by a fungal infection (otomycosis). Despite the unpleasant appearance and cautionary colors, there is usually no long term damage to hearing with this type of infection. In fact, the patient reported having only an “itchy and clogged” ear.

Fungal infections are more common in warm and humid climates, and so it is no wonder why these infections increase during the summer months. In fact, we highlighted another ear pic with a fungal infection taken by a Pioneer last summer.

Dr. Venkatesan also pointed out that fungal infections do not necessarily stem from an ear infection (i.e. AOM) but can cause redness and soreness in the canal.

Treatment for a fungal infection involves a meticulous cleaning with a microscope, application of topical anti-fugal medication and keeping the ear as dry as possible. The fungus should dissipate in a few weeks with this course of action.

Thank you, Dr. TK Venkatesan of Chicago ENT for sharing this interesting case with us!

Top 5 Reasons You’ll Love Using the Oto!

Earlier this year we sent the Oto to the homes of a select group of parents to try it out and help us get the Oto ready for families everywhere. Now that we’ve wrapped up their trial, we wanted you to hear for yourself why these parents loved using the Oto!

1. Convenience

“Conveniently being able to check my 5 year old for infections or any other problems.” – Mary Jane P.

“One word: convenience.” – Dave E. 

2. Provides Helpful Insight

“When your baby is sick and you don’t know why, it is great to have the ability to inform the ear infection question.” – Yoni F.

“Becoming comfortable with checking my son’s ears, and not always guessing what was wrong.” – Christina H.

3. Easy to Use

“Having a clear and easy-to-use otoscope. We need one often in my house because of my daughter’s hearing loss.” – Brandon C.

4. It’s Empowering   

“My son said that his ears hurt and he wanted them checked. I was able to show him that they were ok and that it was more about loud noises bothering him.”  – Christina H.

“Just having the ability to get a very clear view inside my son’s ear.” – Jeff W.

5. Peace of Mind!

“My favorite part was the reassurance that I had knowing that I could check ears whenever! We went on two trips during the pilot and it relieved a lot of stress just to know that I could take a peek in the baby’s ears and know in advance if we needed to go to the pediatrician. Peace of mind!” – Jorie L.

Want to try it out for yourself?

We’re excited to invite all of our parent readers to enroll in our exclusive EAR-ly Adopter program. The first 200 EAR-ly Adopters will get the chance to capture video ear exams from the comfort of their own home and receive a U.S. board-certified doctor’s opinion within 2 hours.

In return for your valuable feedback on this experience, you’ll get the CellScope Oto and 5 exam credits to use the service anytime you want. And the best part? It’s all for FREE!

Enroll Now!



Paraffin Ear Plug, Forgotten!

Dr. Jerry Huo, an Otolaryngologist with three locations in and around New York City, captured an interesting case of a paraffin wax ear plug that had long since been forgotten.

A female patient presented with what she thought was fluid in the ear. Dr. Huo recalls, “She was shocked when I showed her the pic. She had forgotten that she had used paraffin ear plugs months back and one had been left in the canal.”


The obstructed view of the patient’s eardrum caused by a paraffin wax ear plug. (Captured by the Oto)

After Dr. Huo removed the ear plug from the patient’s ear canal, he captured another image with his Oto. As you can see, the eardrum does not appear normal.

Dr. Huo explained that the “the yellow color on the TM (eardrum) is due to the over-the-counter drops the patient had used prior to her visit in an attempt to remove what she thought was ear wax.”


The patient’s eardrum after the ear plug was removed. (Captured by the Oto.)


Thanks, Dr. Huo! And to all those who are trying to get some peace and quiet: don’t forgot about those plugs!