Otoscan | Design Concepts
Case Study
Otoscan

Immobile headset enables 3D ear scans

Otometrics has groundbreaking laser scanning technology capable of creating a 3D digital image of the complete ear. But there was a big problem – to work, a headset placed around the patient’s ear during the scan had to be completely immobile

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The headset houses a fiducial ring that must remain completely immobile for an accurate scan.

The headset holds a fiducial ring that’s printed with a series of dots and dashes tracked by cameras in the handheld scanner. During the scanning a series of images are stitched together into a complete picture of the ear canal and outer ear. Any shift of headset position during the scan can produce an inaccurate result.

Contrary to what your mom warned you about, faces don’t freeze. The muscles around your jaw and ears move when you swallow, talk, breathe... even blink your eyes. Holding that still for the 1-2 minutes it takes to complete an ear scan is physically impossible.

Functionality

We designed the Otoscan headset to float in space, decoupled from the head. Our solution balances usability with rigidity. Friction hinges and a series of three joints placed on bony parts of the skull allow the headset to grip the head with light pressure while keeping the fiducial ring in place as the patient is being scanned.

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We explored a variety of headset designs during development and down-selected with the Otoscan team.

Our human factors team conducted usability studies of multiple prototypes with hearing professionals to help ensure an intuitive, approachable design for hearing care professionals and comfort for patients. Accurately placing the headset takes only a few seconds for experienced users. It’s adjustable to fit the majority of head and ear shapes and sizes.

Otoscan eliminates the need for the more conventional and uncomfortable impression taking using silicone injected into the ear. It enables a pleasant and engaging patient experience and improves the outcome by providing better-fitting hearing aids and ear molds based on precise 3D images.

Since the launch in March 2018, Otoscan has been used to scan over 20,000 ears and is rapidly becoming the new standard in impression taking.

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Hearing specialists can show patients their ear scans during the visit and discuss best approaches to care.
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Contact us today to start a discussion.