FDA approves ear infection diagnostic tool

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new tool designed to diagnose ear infections with more accuracy.

PhotoniCare, a company based in Champaign, developed TOMiScope, which looks similar to the otoscope. However, rather than magnifying what’s going on at the surface level of the ear, the TOMiScope provides imaging of the middle ear, which is where infections typically occur.

“Our device still provides that surface image that they’re used to,” CEO and co-founder Ryan Shelton said. “But we can actually image through the eardrum and directly visualize the fluid that’s back there and let them make better decisions based off that information.”

Shelton said he was inspired as a parent to create the new tool.

“It gives me a lot of motivation to wake up in the mornings,” Shelton said. “I’m doing something that I know not only will help other people, but that I’ve seen firsthand makes me feel better about the choices that we have for caring for our daughter and whether to take her in or get her antibiotics or not.”

Shelton said the FDA submission process took roughly five months. Now that the company has cleared the FDA hurdle, they plan to roll out TOMiScope to some of their partners, including Carle. After that, they’re planning on a national rollout.

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