iPhones can be transformed into mobile endoscopic viewing system at a substantial cost benefit. The lighter and inexpensive Endockscope acquired images of the same resolution and acceptable color resolution. When evaluated by expert endoscopists, the quality of the images overall were equivalent for flexible ureteroscopy. It was also somewhat inferior, but still acceptable for flexible cystoscopy.
Commentary & Implication to mHealth
This feasibility study highlights the increasing power of mobile technology when applied to endoscopy. These results may have improved given the hardware development available today that includes higher resolution cameras. As with any smartphone centric system, there are barriers to widespread use at the moment such as concerns for patient privacy and integration with hospital PACS systems.
There have been a number of examples in literature of smartphone adapters for endoscopes. To date, there have been no human trials evaluating the efficacy of this technology. It also remains unclear how the positive results in this study will affect future endoscope development, although there is clearly grounds to improve accessibility to endoscopy in developing nations.