Remote evaluation of video-otoscopy recordings in an unselected pediatric population with an otitis media scale

Lundberg T, Biagio L, Laurent C, Sandström H, Swanepoel DW

Int. J. Pediatr. Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Jun;

PMID: 25017799

BACKGROUND: A recently validated image-based grading scale for acute otitis media (OMGRADE) can be used to assess tympanic membrane (TM) status. The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of this scale for remote assessments of TM status using video-otoscopy recordings in an unselected pediatric population.

METHOD: Children 2-16 years attending a South African primary health clinic were offered an ear examination by an otologist using otomicroscopy. An ear and hearing telehealth facilitator then made video-otoscopy recordings (9-33s) of the ears and uptakes were uploaded to a secure server for remote assessments in Sweden by an otologist and general practitioner at four- and eight-weeks post onsite assessment. TM appearance was judged according to the OMGRADE scale. Concordance between onsite otomicroscopy and asynchronous assessments of video-otoscopy recordings was calculated together with intra- and inter-rater agreements.

RESULTS: One hundred and eighty ears were included. Concordance of TM classifications using the OMGRADE scale was found to be substantial (weighted kappa range 0.66-0.79). Intra- and inter-rater agreement (test-retest) was found to be substantial to almost perfect (weighted kappa range 0.85-0.88 and 0.69-0.72, respectively).

CONCLUSION: The OMGRADE scale can be used to accurately assess the normal TM and secretory otitis media (SOM) remotely using video-otoscopy recordings in an unselected pediatric population.

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