Combined thermometer/otoscope device providing dual functionality with no external power source for developing world hospitals
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Although the thermometer and the otoscope have been integral to medicine for decades, conditions in the developing world have prevented their effectiveness and limited their availability. However, these instruments are essential for conducting various medical procedures. First, a rise in temperature is one of the simplest indications that a patient may be sick. Many hospitals still use mercury-based thermometers that can break, potentially causing an additional health hazard. Liquid thermometers also require a longer time to read, which can delay diagnostics. Additionally, a quick survey of the ear is imperative for diagnosing potentially harmful ear infections. Therefore, otoscopes are also incredibly important in hospitals worldwide, especially because they can detect the onset of otitis media, which can lead to hearing loss, increased medical complications, and death. However, currently available otoscopes require batteries or an external power source, which are not ideal for conditions in developing world hospitals. Finally, these problems are often magnified in the developing world; therefore, the simplest tools can have the largest impact. By combining an otoscope with an infrared ear thermometer into a single instrument, a durable, inexpensive, and mercury-free device with dual functionality while requiring no external power source will be created for approximately under 7USD.