I have two kids under five, and now that they're both in school part time, they're constantly getting sick. The common cold wasn't eradicated during everyone's COVID quarantine, as it turns out. We spend so much time going to the pediatrician to check for ear infections, strep throat, etc., and every time the kids are exposed to more germs — not to mention the hassle of landing an appointment and getting everyone out the door to get there on time.
TytoCare is an at-home medical exam kit that allows you to perform an exam on your child (on grown-ups, too) and send the photos and data to a doctor so you don't have to leave home. The device seamlessly connects patients and clinicians in their state for an on-demand medical exam, diagnosis, and prescription if needed. If your child has been sick and needs a follow-up visit or a doctor's note before returning to school, Tyto is an ideal way quickly make that happen.
The FDA-approved device is small with an LED screen on the front and a digital thermometer, camera, and lights on the back. The device acts a connector that can attach a series of adapters: a plastic otoscope for examining ears (it includes adapter heads for adults and kids); a stethoscope for listening to your heartbeat and lungs; and a tongue depressor to look at your throat if needed.
Prior to using the device (and preferably before anyone in your family gets sick), you need to download the app, input your health insurance information, and set up patient profiles. Each person in your family can have their own profile (anyone over 18 must create their own account), and all previous exams are stored within the app so you and the clinician can access them. You can then either schedule a virtual appointment or record yourself as you perform a guided exam to send to a doctor.
The device and the app work together to help you properly perform the exams. The "Tyto Academy" option, which consists of video tutorials, is helpful for your first time. It's also really helpful to practice the exams on your kids before they get sick so you can see what a healthy ear drum is supposed to look like, plus it might take a few tries for all of you to get comfortable with the device.
The tongue depressor is dishwasher safe, and the otoscope attachments can easily be cleaned with a Q-tip and alcohol.
TytoCare is available here for $299. It's HSA/FSA eligible, just use your HSA/FSA card to purchase. If you don't have insurance or if your insurance isn't accepted, an exam is $59.