Right now, 6.1% of the global population (that’s 466 million people worldwide) are suffering from disabling hearing loss. More than half of this is caused by untreated ear infections, loud noises, cerumen impaction and the use of ototoxic medicines. Over 90% of chronic ear infections occur in low and middle income countries, partly due to lack of available clinical resources. However, 60% of global disabling hearing loss is completely preventable and treatable with early detection and intervention. The good news is, digital healthcare and telehealth are affordable, sustainable solutions, but they need to be implemented in these countries to resolve the huge resource shortages that they’re facing.
The Cupris solution
Our ongoing work to develop medical devices that utilise smart technology means we can empower both clinicians and patients, improving healthcare in emerging countries by:
Increasing patient access to essential services (especially in remote areas)
Reducing time and costs for patients who travel to remote areas for treatment
Boosting the number of patients healthcare professionals can see in clinic
Improving training for local healthcare professionals
The TYM otoscope is a cost effective, sustainable way to provide care for patients in remote areas, and we’ve been working with charities and NGOs in Malawi and Nepal to trial it.
In March 2016, Rishi Mandavia, a UK ENT trainee, spent two days at a rural hospital in Nepal. An incredibly high percentage of Nepal’s population suffer from ear disease, with 16.6% of people having a hearing impairment, and 7.4% having an eardrum pathology.
Rishi examined 52 patients and recorded both images and patients’ otological history through the TYM otoscope and its accompanying software. The data was then assessed remotely by a consultant ENT surgeon in the UK.
Another UK trained consultant ENT surgeon was present in the rural Nepalese hospital, and performed face-to-face consultations (considered as the standard assessment). Then, diagnosis and treatment plans were compared.
The results, published in Clinical Otolaryngology, showed a concordance of:
95% in diagnosis
100% in the decision as to whether a patient warranted further evaluation and treatment.
We were thrilled with the results, and now we’re looking at ways we can expand our solution across the developing world. At Cupris, we believe that everyone should be able to access healthcare that prevents hearing loss caused by untreated ear infections. The key to this? Healthcare systems powered by people and driven by data, where clinicians and patients are empowered to monitor, record and track health themselves.
Calling all healthcare providers and commissioners
We know that true efficiency usually comes down to good communication. That’s why the TYM otoscope:
Prevents unnecessary consultations
Simplifies patient handovers by using image data
Reduces the follow-up/first appointment ratio, shortening waiting lists
Improves your QIPP ratio
Enhances your patient’s overall healthcare experience
Integrates seamlessly, with no additional training required