Such units are commercially available, either as add-on devices that
works with your existing TV/monitor or bundled in (more expensive)
[Welch Allyn CompacVideo Otoscope Camera]
"For around $1000... Stand-alone system that's compatible with your
existing equipment! The Compac Video Otoscope is a fiber optic system
with its own internal light soucre and video camera. It's compatible
with monitors, TVs, VCRs, printers, and frame grabbers, so you
generate hard copies at the touch of a button."
"The basic 23100 model CompacVideo Otoscope System includes: Video
Otoscope Head, 10 Disposable (4mm) Specula, and Composite Video Cable
that can be connected to a TV, monitor, or computer video capture
[Economical Video Otoscope]
"...has both composite video and s-video outputs and is a fraction of
the cost of the typical Camera and Illumination System with the
"Please contact Second Opinion for Quote Information."
By contrast the complete system solutions seem to run in the $5000 range:
[MedRx Digital Otoscope]
[MDS - Video Otoscope System]
These products are variously marketed as "human" or "veterinarian" but
at essentially the same prices.
[Froogle Keywords: otoscope camera]
[Google Keywords: "video otoscope" price]
Clarification of Answer by
11 Jan 2004 21:08 PST
I agree these things are a little pricey and that the best value would
be to find one of these units for sale in good used condition.
I did see quite such instruments being sold on eBay and through
surplus/used resellers. One needs to read carefully to see how
complete the equipment being offered is for your purpose. I won't try
to post a lot of links here as the content on eBay is of course quite
dynamic, and the resellers tend to be cagey about price and
availability, asking you to contact them for information.
[ValueHunter.com - Medical for Sale]
(scroll to middle of page)
You can try a search at eBay by going here:
Unfortunately eBay's search engine is not very specific, and this can
pull up items which don't contain both terms "video" and "otoscope".
The best new price I found on the Welch Allyn video otoscope head was
here, at $830:
[Welch Allyn CompacVideo Otoscope]
(item at top of page)
These prices should be viewed, I think, in the context of getting both
an instrument quality otoscope head (incl. light source) plus a
digital video camera sans recording media w approx. 400,000 pixel
resolution (and up). My sense from browsing around a bit is that a
good used price for the low end resolution instruments might be $400,
but that used instruments with a megapixel resolution would push the
price back up, most likely above $1000.
For the sake of completeness, here's a Korean manufacturer with two
models in case you happen to come across a used/reconditioned version
[Sometech - Video Otoscope]
[Sometech - Dr. Camscope]
From the model numbers I believe the first of these to be the
"Economic" Video Otoscope referenced in my earlier answer. I found a
Mexican distributor for these, but again without specific pricing
[MediRoyal S.A. de C.V.]
I'd be surprised if there were an FDA restriction on purchasing these
items as a non-physician. This equipment should be used only for
viewing and not for performing medical procedures unless you are a
licensed physician or veterinarian. Sites which distribute a variety
of medical items will often put a blanket disclaimer on their pages to
avoid potential disappointment when there are FDA restictions; such at
any rate seems to be eBay's policy.
Also in a medical or veterinary practice one has the expense of
continually replacing or disinfecting (preferably by autoclave) the
tips (specula) of these instruments, to avoid infectious