Want to Record your Endoscope Image Quality?

Want to Record your Endoscope Image Quality?

If you want to record your endoscope image quality then you came to the right spot!
But what is endoscope image quality? And how do you measure it? Don’t want to read the whole article, just scroll down to find the solution.

What can go wrong?

There are several ways to measure endoscope image quality and several tools to do it.
But if you look at an endoscope in more detail you’ll discover that an endoscope exists of a lot of components like rod lenses, sapphire windows, glass fibers, objectives etc.
All these components make up the signature of the endoscope and therefore it is not that simple to just do 1 measurement to discover the possible defect of an endoscope.
You’ll have to measure more aspects in order to get a clear picture!

The estimate lifetime of an endoscope is about 1 minute to 2 years, yes we have seen older endoscopes but trust me, it doesn’t get better over time..
Endoscopes are build in a way to cope with the extreme heat that the autoclave is working on (around 134 degrees celsius). To let the lenses expand and contract, they are kept into place with a coil spring that holds them in position. But during expanding and contracting the spacers between the rod lenses scratches the surface of the rod lenses and cause glass dust to sit on top of the rod lens surfaces.
Also transporting endoscopes have the same effect. A little bit of dust is common but where do you draw the line? When does this have an effect on the endoscope image quality?

Rod lenses are often glued. This might strike you as strange but in fact the cheapest way to make a rod lens it to take a glass rod and glue a lens on top of it. The better way is to polish the surface of the rod to get a lens. But again due to the temperature of the autoclave the glue has the tendency to age quickly and turn yellow. Eventually it will lose its adhesive function and the lens will come loose. So how do you measure this? And again, where do you draw the line?

Then you’ll have the light fibers. This is also a popular subject in hospitals.
Fibers that are burned out, broken or residue that sticks into the light post.
When using endoscopes they are subjected to mishandling and the cleaning treatment is not very “friendly” so to say. This day to day use is affecting the overall working of the endoscope and it is hard to tell when it drops below the threshold of acceptance.

How do we measure the endoscope image quality?

Now, you might want to suggest to not use the autoclave anymore and go plasma all the way. I don’t want to spoil the party but this method is also very aggressive on plastics and glues etc. and there are even manufacturers of endoscope that do not recommend you to use this method.

As the title says “record you endoscope image quality” we have made just the right tool that gives you all the possibilities to monitor your endoscopes over time and is backed up by a cloud platform that gives you all the data and tools to make sure you’ll never have a defect endoscope in the OR anymore. This tool does not only tests the endoscope image quality but also tests discoloration, dust particles and measures the view angle and field of view. It is designed to fit right into the workflow of the CSSD/SPD to record your endoscope quality and tells you immediately when to take action.

Recently I came across an article that said:

“The path to quality improvement naturally begins with an effort to define those aspects of care that impact the quality of the patient experience”

And

“Although providing the best possible patient care is our most important goal, we are poorly equipped to measure our ability to achieve that goal.” 1

This is how we took the challenge to build ScopeControl, we first looked at the how the end user wanted to solve the problem and then we determined how to measure it technically.
We knew that endoscope specifications were not something you can download over the internet. This problem was forcing us to build a new database that was speaking another language that did not hurt the manufacturer’s specifications. We wanted to learn from measuring endoscopes and we want our users to learn from each other! This is way we can connect every ScopeControl to the EndoscopeManager platform to exchange data and do analysis on this data to give back evidence based values that helps everybody in the industry. We also did studies with UMCU (Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, the Netherlands) to find a set of thresholds to reject endoscopes from further use in OR.
And we are not stopping, every new user that buys ScopeControl benefits of the work that other hospitals have done already, and with using it they are helping each other to make endoscopic surgery safer and cost friendly.

So what can I do?

You can start testing your endoscopes today if you want and help reduce the delay in OR caused by defect endoscopes. It’s that simple…

References:
https://www.asge.org/docs/default-source/education/practice_guidelines/doc-2014_quality_in_endoscopy_set.pdf?sfvrsn=10

Menno is the CTO of DOVIDEQ medical and responsible for all hardware and software developments.