I have put together a few instructional videos to help parents with these online visits. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a telemedicine visit for you or for your child.
Video otoscopes have become quite inexpensive, and deliver surprisingly good images. They can also be used in the nose or mouth. Although there are many brands, I have had good results with this Depstech model, which costs around $35.
Remember to use video instead of still images, since I am much more likely to get a usable image if I can scan through a number of frames in a short clip. Be careful placing the tip of the otoscope in the ear canal, always watch the screen to make sure that you are centered in the ear canal and not touching the canal walls. Bracing the hand holding the otoscope against the child's head may also help avoid pain if they suddenly move their head.
A short tutorial on getting good images in the mouth during Telemedicine consultation. Remember to keep the light source close to the camera, and to watch the image while manipulating the phone.
While audiology apps will not replace a formal audiogram, this one can be helpful when a hearing test cannot be arranged. It also is fun, which means that kids will play it for a while, long enough to finish the evaluation. There are other more elaborate hearing test apps, but most of them are not appropriate for children. The Kid Hearing Game app is available for the iPhone and for Android.