A recent study in BMC Anesthesiology compared an iPhone modified bronchoscope (iPMB) with existing intubation methods. Using a manikin, the iPMB was compared to flexible fiberoptic bronchoscope, glidescope, and a macintosh blade.

Sixty-three participants that were experienced with intubation used each device on a manikin. They intubated using the devices in both simple intubations as well as simulated difficult situations (where the neck was immobilized). The time to view the vocal cords (TVC) and the time taken for successful intubation (TSI) were measured for each intubation.

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Results for TVC for the iPhone were similar to the macintosh blade and bronchoscope. TSI was longer with the iPhone than with the unmodified bronchoscope and macintosh blade. The glidescope had better results in TVC and TSI than the other devices. There was also a higher rate of failure to intubate with the iPhone modified device.

This study does show that iPMB could be useful in training situations, since like the Glidescope, it provides a video display that can be seen by instructors and trainees simultaneously.

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Further, authors stressed how the iPhone’s built in capabilities of data and taking pictures would allow it to stream content remotely, or even to local devices.

This is a great study to highlight how sticking an iPhone onto a traditional device doesn’t necessarily make the procedure easier. I’m glad this study was done as I know some of my own colleagues have thought about putting a mobile device that captures videos onto a bronchoscope — it sounds like a fantastic idea. But in reality, we should stick to the Glidescope and direct Laryngoscopy.

Source: BMC Anesthesioogy