Investing for COVID-19 Safety
I have met some great people since starting this business, some have become customers, some have become friends, and many have become both! Some I have yet to meet in person, and that is because COVID-19 is causing fear among an at-risk population.
Admittedly I have always wanted a Natus Otocam 300, since using one at a previous NHS training post. It is the pinnacle of clear medical imaging, a handheld video otoscope (ear-viewer) with a long wire that connects to the PC or laptop.
At £2100 it is not cheap, but the £400 Firefly I used when I was with Sp*****ers was terrible. It was so grainy you could easily miss or misdiagnose something. The beautiful Otocam 300 was what I wanted and I was prepared to wait to get one!
Anyway, long story short I decided to buy one on the pretext of being COVID safe!
Since March, I have been avoiding otoscopy unless it is clinically necessary, in order to reduce the risk inherent with breathing over someone close up. Even with a mask and/or visor, an ear exam with a normal otoscope is a risk as it is a very close-up procedure. I measure my temperature every day, follow industry guidelines, use PPE and take precautions. Everything else in Audiology can be done at arm's length or instructed then checked (such as placing headphones).
With my horrendously expensive but utterly beautiful Otocam 300, I can now remain at a distance and check your ears with a sanitised cam/disposable specula, and show you the results on screen as we go!
It also improves my diagnostic capabilities, as seeing the eardrum in high-res on a 15" screen is always going to be better than the view through a handheld scope (although for normal eardrums it is adequate).
In the (near) future, I will also be practicing cerumen (wax) removal using the Otocam and a special specula (tip). I am thinking of introducing small-scale wax management as a service to my hearing aid customers, although as my focus/passion is on tech and rehab, I still do not intend to go into microsuction.