The Importance of Watchful Waiting for Ear Infections

No parent likes it when their child is sick but with back to school and flu season approaching, it is inevitable. As parents our inclination is to do whatever we can to make our children feel better as fast as possible. However, with ear infections the best approach is often watchful waiting and not prescribing antibiotics immediately.

According to Harvard Medical School: Acute ear infections are the most common infection for which antibiotics are prescribed to children. However, roughly 80 percent of children with acute ear infections get better without antibiotic treatment.

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Introducing CellScope DIRECT – New Remote Care Program


Our vision at CellScope is to improve the doctor-patient relationship by increasing patient engagement, helping doctors provide the highest quality care to their patients and offering families radical convenience.

We are excited to announce the nationwide launch our new virtual care platform to bring families and doctors one step closer to this vision. Our CellScope DIRECT platform enables doctors to provide families with remote care for common conditions that usually require an in office visit.

What sets CellScope DIRECT apart from other remote care platforms is that we have built smart mobile tools to enable patients to capture and share diagnostic quality images of their sick kiddos. Our first tool, Oto for Families, enables parents to take images of their child’s eardrum at home and receive a diagnosis or treatment follow-up.

CellScope DIRECT aims to save patients and physicians time, enable high quality care and reduce over prescription of antibiotics through remote care.  We currently have practices using our platform in over 9 states across pediatrics, family medicine and otolaryngology (ENT).

Read a Q&A with one of the first doctors on CellScope DIRECT, Dr. Chad Rudnick, about how he is leading the new wave of pediatrics at his practice, Boca VIPediatrics.

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Is the Oto HOME right for you?

We’re excited about the recent release of our Oto HOME system. People are often impressed when they find out just how many people can benefit from using the Oto HOME, our smartphone enabled ear checker tool, so we wanted to share a few different ways it can be used to illustrate its versatility.

Who is the Oto HOME designed for?

Businesswoman holding her crying baby talking on the phone at hoParents, because most young children will have an ear infection. 

The majority of children will experience an ear infection by the time they’re just one year old! Ear infections can be painful and scary for kids and stressful for the whole family. Normally, you would have to wait for a doctors appointment and haul your kids to the pediatrician’s office but with the Oto HOME you can get better answers, faster. Simply take a video with our app and hear back from a doctor within 2 hours using Oto CONNECT. Nothing like quick, easy resolution to get some much needed peace of mind and keep your family healthy

Especially when your child has more than one infection every year.

AlthPortrait of baby girl holding her earsough almost every child will experience at least one ear infection, a smaller group will have recurrent ear infections (four or more per year). The Oto HOME is the perfect tool for parents of these “frequent flyers” because it allows them to get a diagnosis from home instead of constantly shuttling back and forth to the pediatrician. And if your child has ear tubes put in, the Oto HOME can double as a monitoring tool. There’s less time to worry when you can get an answer in under 2 hours!

Waxy Ears

We know that children aren’t the only people with ear health concerns. Earwax blockage is the most common ear related problem that doctors see and can be accompanied by a number of adverse side effects including pain, dizziness and impaired hearing. If you are an adult or child who suffers from excessive earwax or earwax impaction, the Oto HOME can save you tons of time and worry by helping you get to the root of the problem quickly.

 Individuals With Ménières Disease

Young caucasian woman ear closeup.Ménières disease typically affects adults in their 40s and 50s and is characterized by increased fluid in the inner ear. It typically presents with extreme dizziness and weakness which can be scary and debilitating, leaving those affected in no state to drive to the doctor for an ear exam. We recommend the Oto HOME as an ear monitoring tool so that you can check in with a doctor comfortably and safely from home to rule out an infection.

These are just a few of the many ways people are using the Oto HOME. How do you use yours? Tell us!

Think the Oto HOME might be right for you and your family? Pre-Order now!

Ear Pic of the Week: A Tympanic Membrane Perforation & Otorrhea

Dr. Charles Caplan an Otolaryngologists from Renton, WA captured this week’s Ear Pic of the Week. He’s one of our CellScope Oto Pioneer physicians and first-time featured contributor on the Tympanic Times.

A patient with acute otitis media and a tympanic membrane perforation.

A patient with acute otitis media and a tympanic membrane perforation.

This week’s photo captured an ear infection in an elderly woman with a tympanic membrane perforation and otorrhea, or ear drainage. The perforation in the tympanic membrane appears as a small hole in the center of the photo.

Dr. Caplan says that the patient has known of the perforation for decades, but hadn’t experienced any drainage for many years. After a month of the ear drainage, the patient came in to see Dr. Caplan. The infection successfully cleared up by treating it with drops.

Thanks again, Dr. Caplan for sharing this great image.

Do you want to be able to take such clear and quality images of your patient’s ears? Sign up today to become a CellScope Pioneer here.

Ear Pic of the Week – Cholesteatoma

Dr. Eloy Villasuso, Otolaryngologist at Cleveland Clinic Florida, provided us with an great image of a Cholesteatoma that we wanted to share!

Right ear with Cholesteastoma captured by Dr. Villasuso with his CellScope Oto

Right ear with Cholesteastoma captured by Dr. Villasuso with his CellScope Oto

Cholesteatoma is an uncommon condition where a cyst-like growth develops in the ear. It can be a congenital problem but most commonly occurs as a complication of chronic ear infection.

As Dr Villasuso explains, “This patient had right ear pain for the last several months with decreased hearing. When he presented to the clinic a large amount of cerumen and squamous debris was removed from his right ear canal revealing the defect seen in the picture. The picture shows a large tympanic membrane perforation eroding the scutum with cholesteatoma outlining the head of the malleus and no visible incus. The inferior portion of tympanic membrane was otherwise normal.”

Surgery is usually advised to remove the cholesteatoma and prevent further damage, including hearing loss. This patient underwent a tympanoplasty and mastoidectomy for removal of the extensive cholesteatoma and will be monitored regularly.