A new device could help moms avoid trips to the emergency room. A new device could help moms avoid trips to the emergency room. A new device could help moms avoid trips to the emergency room. (Photo: Halfpoint / Shutterstock)

New device may help reduce late-night trips to the ER

Patients will be able to diagnose common illnesses from the comfort of their own homes.

When a child or a loved one wakes up ill in the middle of the night, parents often debate whether to take them to the emergency room or wait it out. Across the country, unnecessary visits to the ER are costing the U.S. healthcare system, taxpayers and patients billions. Fortunately, a new solution may make getting a diagnosis a lot easier for moms – all without leaving the house.

Israeli startup Tyto Care’s two-part solution will connect patients – children or adults – at home with on-call clinicians and health organizations through a secure cloud service. Patients or their caregivers use an intuitive, handheld device to perform basic self-examinations of the heart, lungs, throat, ears, eyes and skin, and the results are automatically sent directly to doctors who can provide advice and care in real time via an online platform.

The device uses sensors to capture images, sounds and temperature, while audio instructions and a 3D avatar displayed on the screen, or an online physician, help patients to conduct the exam.

“This is a very intriguing device, and is one of several in the first wave of telemedicine adjuncts that will be hitting the market over the next couple of years," Dr. Ryan McKennon, emergency room physician and assistant division head at Henry Ford Medical Center in Michigan, told From the Grapevine. “If the Tyto Care device works as well as is expected, it could have a significant impact in decreasing the number of lower acuity visits to both the ER and primary care."

The company's investors include the Walgreens drug store chain and China’s leading health care company Fosun Pharma. An additional recent investment was made by American firm Cambia Health Solutions.

“At present, the range of tele-health diagnoses is limited because clinicians must rely on phone or video conference only, without the benefit of vital clinical information provided by physical exam tools in the provider setting. Tyto Care can remove these limitations with its connected examination technology,” said Tyto Care Founder and CEO Dedi Gilad in a statement.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to give final approval to the device within the year. Its retail value is expected to be set around $220.

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