The Search for the Sub $100 videolaryngoscope
I am on a journey of discovery and experimentation in laryngoscopy. I am in search of the sub $100 disposable video laryngoscope. I found one earlier this year. Its called the Vividtrac AT-100. Its like an AirTraq only smaller but has a USB cable to plug into a laptop and power the LED for the camera. I bought some to test at a cost of $65 AU each.
I got our resident Master Airway practitioner, Dr Jim DuCanto to provide some feedback from his test lab. Here is his video recorded testing.
I have had similar feedback and comments from doctors during my airway courses and almost all have stated a preference for the King Vision Video Laryngoscope compared with the Vividtrac. However I have had one aeromedical retrieval physician who has taken a liking to the Vividtrac and has had positive feedback during training with paramedics he works with.
So my search continued and what I quickly realised was that almost all doctors I spoke to preferred using the traditional Macintosh blade laryngoscope and any different device designs like Airtraq, Vividtrac or King Vision are somewhat too radical a departure from their traditional direct laryngoscopy skills to be taken up enthusiastically.
Now there are video laryngoscopes on the market currently that offer traditional style Macintosh blade designs. The most popular systems would be the CMAC ( Karl Storz) and McGrath. Glidescope system does not have a truly Macintosh style blade. NONE OF THEM COST LESS THAN $2000 AU, let alone $100.
SO WHAT TO DO?
Build it yourself? Why not?
What do you need?
1.Macintosh blade laryngoscope #4, disposable. I chose the Trulite version, fully disposable, $16.
3. Windows or Apple OS laptop/tablet with USB port, use Vividtrac imaging software to display USB camera image
TOTAL COST (exc laptop) = $42
Its waterproof as I demonstrate it here in a glass of water, imaging a Mallinckrodt ETT next to the glass.
But I quickly realised once again, did you really need a Macintosh blade? Would a spoon bent into the curve of a Mac blade be sufficient? YES IT WOULD!
A NOTE OF CAUTION!
The system described is a working proof of concept model. It utilises off the shelf, current materials and items. The USB endoscope is not medically licensed as a clinical device for endoscopy. What I have demonstrated is for experimental and research development only, not for clinical use at the moment. My vision is to develop a medical device licenced kit to convert your existing MAcintosh style laryngoscopes into video laryngoscope capabilities, with each kit being fully disposable at low cost , sub $100. Also I envisage a disposable , cheap Macintosh laryngoscope with the USB endoscope already built in, sub $100 each.
I HAVE A DREAM. Today the dream got one step closer to reality! If you beat me to develop and market this commercially, that would be fantastic as I then get to buy a commercial licensed sub$100 Macintosh type VL system. If I beat all of you to develop and market this concept commercially, then good for me because my dream will have been REALISED!