3D Scanner Applied to Patients Under 18 Years of Age: Has the Time Come to Rewrite the Regulations for Use?
Barbero A, Morales M and Roldán L
Journal Title:Acta Scientific Otolaryngology
The arrival of 3D digital scanning systems for patients' ears has revolutionized one of the most classic fields of Audiology, that is, the manufacture of custom silicone molds for the patient's ear. This is an efficient and clean system due to the accuracy it provides. But while performing 3D ear scanning for children, we face a big obstacle. That obstacle is that the instruction manuals of the manu-facturers of the 3D Scanner indicate that it is used only for those over 18 years of age. In other words, we must give up one of the most important fields of our profession which is Pediatric Audiology.This aspect is treated in this opinion article from the perspective of the authors' own experience and reflects their personal contribution in this field throughout their 30 years of work and experience, making classic silicone molds and the new 3D molds by scanning. Our opinion article is intended to suggest a change in the current use of 3D scanning with children.The exact copy of the ear is a tremendously important aspect while examining patients with severe and/or profound deafness, especially at an early age. But there are some teenagers of 12, 14 or 16 years old, who have a wide enough conduit to be able to use the Otoscan 3D, especially if they have been using tight molds since they were little. And there are also adult patients with a very small ear canal, which makes scanning impossible.For this reason, our proposal and recommendation is to change the instruction manuals for use from 2021 so that the limitation is not based on age, but on the diameter of the ear canal. In this way, the responsibility of the manufacturers of the equipment is safeguarded (which is one of their main concerns and basis of the reason, in the event of possible legal claims), and allows flexibility in use based on a technical/audiological criterion, instead to be based on a mere question of ages