Introducing TelScope Oral Telehealth System

Introducing TelScope Oral Telehealth System

Introducing the telehealth version of Throat Scope: TelScope Oral Telehealth System.

Connect intraoral concerns to a doctor or specialist quickly without leaving home, or have clients connect directly to you.

TelScope is a product and app combination. The TelScope handle is like the upgraded Throat Scope – it’s antimicrobial, rechargeable, and connects to any smart device.

When you connect TelScope to your smart device, open the TelScope app (available on iOS and Android) to snap an intraoral picture. Then you can measure, circle and comment on any areas of concern. Finally, send the image instantly to a doctor, dentist or specialist securely within the app.

 

TelScope Oral Telehealth System TelScope Oral Telehealth System

You can learn more about TelScope on our parent company website here.

TelScope is ready for preorder – for an amazing discount – via Indiegogo. Preorder here.

 

Head and Neck Cancer Screening

Head and neck cancer screening event

Surgeons and oncologists who work in Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) are qualified to do head and neck cancer screening. The process involves asking about possible symptoms, examining the mouth and the top of the throat with a good light source, and palpating the neck for lumps. Screening clinics which run outside traditional hospital environments are a great way to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of these cancers, especially among people who may never have heard of the disease. Head and neck cancer screening also has one big advantage over many over screening clinics – we can examine the vast majority of patients without asking them to remove any items of clothing. In this blog I am sharing how we ran our screening clinic and what we learned in the hope that I can inspire other clinicians to do the same.

Clear objectives

The goal for our head and neck cancer screening clinic was to raise awareness. My practice team had been brainstorming ideas for activities for World Head and Neck Cancer Day (WHNCD) to help bring attention to these diseases.  Not only do most people know very little about head and neck cancer but also the majority of those who have heard about it are under the false impression that the main contributing lifestyle factor is smoking. We were aware of other head and neck cancer screening clinics being run in hospitals which recruited volunteer patients who consisted mostly of hospital staff, visitors and some members of the public. We wanted to stage an event that was held off a hospital campus in order to engage with a broader cross section of the general public. The date for WHNCD is July 27 which meant that in 2019 WHNCD fell on a Saturday. Sports fields and shopping centres seemed like good options and we knew we wanted the screenings to be free. We had plenty of ideas but the difficulty was putting them into action.

Teamwork – look for partners and supporters

Fortunately for us we have been working for some time with Jennifer Holland and the team at Holland Healthcare. Jennifer is the inventor of Throat Scope, a tongue depressor with a light in it. Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeons (ENTs) routinely use specially designed light sources wen examining the mouth and throat. Not every doctor or clinician has access to this equipment. Throat Scope is a fantastic tool which enables GPs, dentists and other clinicians who regularly examine the mouth to complete a thorough oral examination without the need for a separate light source. Jennifer and her team had previously run an oral screening event in 2017 at the V8 Super Cars Newcastle. She offered to use her contacts to help us find a suitable venue to run our screening clinic on World Head and Neck Cancer Day. Jennifer did not disappoint and secured a spot for us at Bankwest Stadium among the pre-game activity during the National Rugby League premiership season when the Parramatta Eels played the New Zealand Warriors. We were stationed outside the main entrance. Thousands of people had to walk past our marquee to enter the stadium.

Before giving the project the green light we also approached Anthony Schembri AM, CEO of St Vincent’s Sydney and Dr Julia Maclean, president of the Australian New Zealand Head and Neck Cancer Society for their support. All clinicians participating in the event are members of both the St Vincent’s Head and Neck Cancer MDT and the ANZHNCS so it made sense to approach these organisations. St Vincent’s Sydney not only provided in principle support but also worked with me to create a video about neck lumps, one of the major symptoms of head and neck cancer, to run on St Vincent’s TV across their website and social media platforms on WHNCD.

You need a great team on your side

In order to run our free screening clinic we needed the following personnel;

  1. Qualified clinicians to complete the screening. This included myself, Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeon Dr Julia Crawford, and Dental Surgeon Dr Peter Foltyn, all members of the St Vincent’s Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Team (MDT).
  2. Clerical and admin team. Running a free screening clinic has the same risks and responsibilities for clinicians as seeing patients in a regular practice setting. Our clerical and admin team greeted patients, made sure they completed the appropriate paperwork, kept supplies up to clinicians, and ensured those patients with a suspected underlying diagnosis were appropriately referred for follow up;
  3. Thank goodness for Jennifer and her team at Holland Healthcare. They provided the marquee, Throat Scopes and disposable blades, furniture, screen dividers, gloves, gauze, hand sanitizer, waste containers and every other piece of equipment we needed to perform examinations.
  4. Patient recruiters. We were lucky to have a great team of volunteer patient recruiters who not only approached members of the public for screening but also shared literature with them about the free clinic and head and neck cancers. Their friendly, pressure-free approach ensured that a number of members of the public who originally said ‘no thank you’ returned to participate once they had read more about the screening clinic on the information postcard.

Logistics and patient literature

One major advantage of screening for head and neck cancer over screening for cancers on other sites of the body is that very few items of clothing need to be removed. That said, I admired a lot of Parramatta Eels beanies and scarves. But we still wanted to provide privacy to patients and created individual screening booths. In addition to a weather proof marquee, examination equipment and furniture we also needed banners, signage and patient literature. The banners and signs communicated what we were doing and the literature ensured people understood the screening process, the signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer, and where to find more information. Jennifer had the great idea of putting this information in the form of a postcard which included a link to the excellent online Head and Neck Cancer resources at the NSW Cancer Council

Each clinician worked in a screened consultation area within the marquee.

Literature needs to be easy to read and provide links to authority sources.

Medico-legal risks and public liability

Running a pop up screening clinic is not risk free for patients, organisers or clinicians. We took advice from Avant Risk Management to ensure we understood what we were getting ourselves into. Patients who see clinicians at a free screening clinic like ours have the right to expect the same standard of care as they would if they were seeing the clinician at a pre-arranged appointment in a practice or hospital setting. We had to collect patient data, display a privacy policy explaining what would happen to that data, record the findings for each patient, and provide a letter for patients with an underlying suspected diagnosis to take to their regular GP for follow up. We only screened people over eighteen years of age. There was no power supply to our marquee so all of this had to be done by hand with pre-printed paper templates. Over the next few days my staff will enter all patient details into our patient database, scan and link records of each consultation to create a medical record, and follow up patients with a suspected underlying diagnosis to ensure they get the care they need. Medical records from the event will be retained in digital format in our secure system for the next seven years in accordance with medical record storage regulations and the paper versions will be appropriately destroyed in order to protect patient privacy. The staff at Bankwest Stadium were a pleasure to liaise with and made sure we met our responsibilities of providing a certificate of currency for public liability and that our marquee was weighted securely in case of severe wind gusts. We were very lucky with the weather, it was a spectacular winter’s day. We also had to remove our own rubbish and follow explicit set up instructions regarding access.

How did it go? What did we find?

We screened just over one hundred patients in two and a half hours, including the Parramatta Eels cheer squad, Life Education Ambassador Healthy Harold, being a giraffe his neck examination took a little longer than average, and three fine members of the NSW Police Force. There was no shortage of patients. The Parramatta Eels supporters were out in force with over 17,000 people attending the game. We identified four patients with suspected underlying diagnoses, 4% of our patient cohort. The findings included enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and lip lesions. These patients were either unaware of their symptoms or unaware their symptoms required further investigation. Not surprisingly the group of Eels supporters smoking around the corner from us were reluctant to participate in the screening clinic. To their credit, they did take our literature and thanked us for the invitation.

Dr Julia completing a slightly tricky examination.

Police officers participating in screening after checking the 17,000 strong crowd was safely in the stadium.

Was the day a success?

Yes, this event was definitely a success, we achieved our goal of raising awareness of head and neck cancers, not just among the patients we examined but also among people with whom we had conversations and to whom we distributed printed information. I will also say that it was not just the patients who benefitted. My team and I had an exhausting but uplifting day getting out of our regular environment and talking to a huge range of people about these rare cancers. It was rewarding to reassure those patients who were scared of what we might find when they volunteered to be examined, and it was delightful to screen patients who were happy and relaxed, an unusual experience for someone like me who spends most days diagnosing cancer. Our findings of four patients requiring follow up confirms that we interacted with a general cross section of the population.

Would we do it again?

Definitely. We look forward to doing other free Head and Neck Cancer screening events in the future. In the public conversation about cancer neither head and neck cancer nor head and neck cancer patients receive the attention or funding they deserve. Taking direct action to screen one hundred people may sound like a drop in the ocean but the success of the event only strengthened me and my teams’ resolve to keep working to raise awareness. If clinicians like me don’t do it who will.

The entire head and neck cancer clinic screening team – three support members to every one clinician.


About the Author

Hi Richard Gallagher’s my name and I’m a head and neck surgeon at St Vincent’s. I work at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, St Vincent’s Public Hospital, and at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre. I’ve worked at St Vincent’s since 1998. I finished my surgical training in 1995 and following that I did further training in head and neck cancer surgery. At the present time my practice is mainly looking after patients with cancer and head and neck cancer and looking after patients with complex airway problems. In 2011 I went and did further training in the United States in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in transoral robotic surgery. So that surgery’s used mainly for patients who havecancers at the back of the throat and oropharynx and is particularly useful for patients who have cancers due to the human papillomavirus or HPV. So that’s a large number of patients at the present time. On the campus I also wear several hats. I’m the Director of Cancer Services and I’m also the Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Service at St Vincent’s.


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Scope for achievement after Wynnum mum wins $50,000 | The Courier Mail | 8th December 2011

A WYNNUM mother-of-three is changing the face of medical technology just by taking her baby to see a doctor.

Former accountant Jennifer Holland, 29, last week won Queensland Government’s What’s Your Big Idea? competition which included $50,000.

Her invention, the Throat Scope, is a slim-line illuminated tongue depressor which can be used by medical doctors, veterinarians and the general public.

“I took my baby to the doctors in 2008 and noticed the doctor using a wooden tongue depressor and hand-held torch,” she said. “My baby moved his head and the doctor and I found it very difficult to hold his head in place, that’s when it hit me. Why didn’t they have a one handed device with a light?”

That night, Mrs Holland spent hours sketching designs and creating a name for her idea.

Mrs Holland, who has patented her invention, said she is now on the hunt for a manufacturer and hopes to spend her $50,000 on producing and distributing the Throat Scope.

“I have more ideas and they seem to be coming thick and fast now,” she said.

Read the original article HERE

Australia’s Quirkiest Patents in 2014 | SBS | 5th January 2015

Throat Scope illuminating the inside of a patient's mouth
“A tongue depressor for illuminating the oral cavity, and to methods of using the tongue depressor.”

Wooden objects are commonly used to press down a tongue. This device illuminates the mouth as well, rather than medical staff using a torch in their other hand.

Read original post HERE

Business Venture Backed by Experience as a Mum | The Newcastle Herald | 23rd March 2015

 Jennifer Holland with her Throadscope that she has designed pictured using it on daughter Victoria. Pic: Ryan Osland
BORN deaf, Jennifer Holland wore hearing aids until, aged three, her hearing inexplicably returned.

‘‘No one knows why it happened, back then the research wasn’t as advanced … but it was like a light switched on,’’ says the Dudley mum of four.

Ms Holland’s parents have health sector backgrounds and she’s always had a  fascination with all things medical.

But it was a trip to the doctor’s surgery with her first child  in December, 2009, where she had the ‘‘light bulb moment’’ that now looks set to pay big dividends.

Within weeks the financial accountant was designing the first prototype for what would become the now trademarked Throat Scope, an illuminated tongue depressant device that takes the heartache out of oral cavity examinations for doctors and kids and parents.

The road to developing the Throat Scope has been a relatively long one thanks to the demands of Jennifer and husband Andrew’s children, aged 1, 3, 5 and 6.

But the journey went something like this.

In 2010, Jennifer kept tinkering on a prototype, came up with a brand name, trademarked it and put down a provisional patent, then received mentoring from the bio medical board in Queensland, where her family was living at the time.

A year later she won $50,000 in the State government’s ‘‘What’s Your Big Idea Queensland’’ grants scheme, allowing her to spend another year fine-tuning the prototype, among other things.

In 2012 she had almost sealed a deal with a US firm to sell Throat Scope but it collapsed amid financial crisis.

Undeterred and by now accustomed to following nightly nursing sessions with overseas phone calls, Jennifer put an ad in a newspaper to determine other potential uses for the Throat Scope beyond the doctor’s surgery.

‘‘I discovered interest from vets, who needed a different sized blade, or tongue compressor, so that was good,’’ she says.

Her successful audition for Channel 10’s entrepreneur program Shark Tank has now taken her start-up to the next level.

While some of the expert panel of ‘‘sharks’’ didn’t bite at her pitch, tech start-up multi-millionaire Steve Baxter made a $76,000 investment offer for a 30 per cent stake, plus a 5 per cent royalties of sales up to the investment amount.

‘‘It was an amazing experience and off the back of it I’ve had interest from the UK, US and Europe,’’ says Jennifer.

‘‘We’ve also discovered other markets, with the military, aged care, vets and dentists coming forward.’’

Jennifer says Baxter remains continually involved as a mentor and the pair quickly realised to give Throat Scope the best possible chance of success, they needed further support from professionals with strong medical device industry experience.

They’ve partnered with several specialised industry consultants to drive commercialisation and Throat Scope is currently on the hunt for further capital for intellectual property and production purposes.

‘‘This is a great chance for investors to get on board an imminently international successful product in the medical device industry at ground level, ’’ says Jennifer.

With Baxter linking her to a new manufacturer based in Sydney but with production facilities in China, she’s confident she’ll be able to trim costs on the final prototype.

Chinese New Year celebrations last month  delayed her production schedule so she now plans to launch mid-year.

‘‘I am hoping 2015 is the Year of the Throat Scope,’’ she says, tongue in cheek.

With her eldest two children at school and her third entering pre-school, she expects to get a lot done on the two days of the week she has ‘‘only’’ one child on her hands.

‘‘Being a mumpretreneur is not for the faint hearted,’’ she says.

‘‘The biggest challenge is constantly changing from mum mode to business mode.

‘‘I remember I sent a business email once signed with a kiss, nothing was ever mentioned but I’m sure the receiving party had a good laugh.’’

Read the original article HERE

My GP Gave Me a Business Idea | The Sydney Morning Herald | 28th May 2015

Spark: Jennifer Holland had a brainwave in her son's doctor's surgery.Jennifer Holland’s light-bulb moment came in a Brisbane doctor’s surgery in 2009.

Holland and her firstborn, 15-months-old at the time, were in a GP’s surgery with a case of tonsillitis.

“My son was distressed and he [the GP] said ‘look, you restrain your child, I’ll grab my wooden spatula and light and we’ll take a look’,” recounts the mother-of-four.

“I remember thinking, wow, in the 21st century this is just not good enough. I just couldn’t believe we were still using clumsy wooden spatulas and hand lights and that was my light-bulb moment.

“I had the name immediately too: the Throat Scope.”

 Holland went home and told her husband about her one-hand illuminating throat depressor idea.

He suggested she check existing patents, which she did. There were many similar designs.

Read the original article HERE

Mum’s Invention Finds Funding | The Newcastle Herald | 31st August 2015

REDHEAD ‘‘mumtrepreneur’’ Jennifer Holland has wooed Brisbane multimillionaire Michael Dempsey to come on board as a major shareholder in her fledgling medical device business and is poised to reap a windfall from distribution deals.

Ms Holland invented the Throat Scope – a transparent tongue depressant that illuminates inside the mouth and takes the heartache out of oral cavity examinations for kids, parents anddoctors  – after taking her youngest child to the GP in 2009.

‘‘My son had a sore throat and the doctor was trying to look in his mouth with a wooden tongue depressor and it was quite distressing having to help hold him down while they were looking,’’ she said.

After years of tinkering on a prototype, the mother-of-four pitched the Throat Scope on the Channel 10 entrepreneur program Shark Tank earlier this year.

She convinced tech start-up millionaire Steve Baxter to offer  $76,000 for a 30 per cent stake in the company, plus 5 per cent of royalties of sales up to the investment amount.

Ms Holland  confirmed she has successfully pitched her business to Mr Dempsey, who sold his electronic payments processing business Ezidebit to a US company for $305 million late last year.

‘‘He loves the device and the story and thinks we have a great team behind it, he was impressed and wanted to move forward and be a major shareholder,’’ said Ms Holland. ‘‘He will give us advice when he can, he’s a lovely guy.”

Until now working from home while nursing her youngest child, Ms Holland will soon move into a new office minutes from her home to give her the space she needs to develop her business, with her corporate team based in Brisbane.

She said an initial capital raising drive has secured $360,000 from private investors and last week she finalised a deal with Ebos Healthcare, one of the largest medical distributors in Australia and New Zealand.

The initial Ebos deal  will see 200,000 Throat Scope blades distributed to GPs, hospitals and aged care facilities, as well as 2000 starter packs.

Ms Holland said this month her company will pitch to Walgreens, the largest pharmacy chain in the US, alongside the second biggest operator, CVS Group.

‘‘There are also lots of other discussions going on with distributors overseas but nothing I can confirm yet,’’ she said.

The Throat Scope is being manufactured by a Sydney supplier in China, from where the product will be shipped to Ms Holland’s office for national distribution, as well as Hong Kong for US shipping orders.

Ms Holland said the last few months had been ‘‘unreal’’ though she hadn’t had time to stop and think about the fine details.

“I haven’t had a moment to myself,” she said.

‘‘The deals take forever, you agree on something and then weeks later you confirm because the contracts are going back and forth, it does take a toll on you, you think ‘when will it end’.’’

Read the original article HERE