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    Tools Test Drive: Electro Lube and WiCAM

     

    WiCAM Wireless Digital Endoscope Camera & LED Light Source

    Photo courtesy of The Prometheus Group

    Background

    Through the generosity of the Greek deity Prometheus, man was introduced to fire. Let there be no doubt, fire was a major enabling technology in humankind’s evolution and ranks only below the iPhone as the most significant advance since we arose from primordial muck. Given this legacy, it should be of little surprise that once again, Prometheus is trying to change mankind; only this time, instead of fire, we are getting an untethered endoscopic camera and light source.

    Design/Functionality

    The WiCAM Wireless Digital Endoscope Camera and LED Light Source has multiple components that integrate to make any standard endoscope (cystoscope, hysteroscope, laparoscope, etc.) cordless. The camera is a standard-sized, lightweight (.35 lb, 158 g) device with a standard c-coupler that fits onto any standard eyepiece. Real-time images are wirelessly transmitted from the camera head to a USB receiver plugged into a monitor, laptop or tablet and a rechargeable battery screws a lightweight LED light source directly onto any standard light port.

    In use for an office hysteroscopy, the Prometheus wireless digital endoscope camera and LED light source was pretty “wow.” When stationary, the picture was excellent with full 640 x 480 resolution and the light was comparable to what I am used to. There were only 2 buts. But #1: During rapid movement of the camera there were occasions when the image deteriorated as the transmission speed lagged behind the image. This problem is minimized by keeping the camera and tablet at high power and selecting another channel on the camera and receiver if there is interference but it is still a little annoying. But #2: The company is a little vague about the cleaning and sterilization protocols for the devices. The company says they intend to remedy this issue with proprietary sterile drapes or bags but, as of this writing, they are not available.

    Innovation

    Game changer alert! This wireless product may be the first of its kind that you use but it will not be the last. Rather, I suspect within short order most of our wired cameras and light cords will go the way of wooden teeth, iron lungs, and written medical records.

    Summary

    The Prometheus wireless digital endoscope camera and LED light source is super cool. After years of using scopes with camera heads connected to cameras via wires and illuminated by light transmitted through fiber-optic cords, the fully wireless Prometheus almost defies belief. For those of us old enough to remember our first mobile phone experience, this camera has that same otherworldly feel. The device does present some challenges. It has some digital lagging issues when it is moved too quickly and the company definitely needs to clarify its cleaning and sterilization procedures. But overall, I am convinced this is the future of office endoscopy and perhaps OR endoscopy as well.

     

    James Greenberg, MD
    Dr. Greenberg is Chief, Division of Gynecology, Brigham & Women’s Faulkner Hospital, and Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School, ...

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