Oral examinations are such core practice in medicine that you’d be hard pressed to find a doctor who doesn’t perform one every day. They offer immediate information in a variety of contexts, and can be performed in a matter of seconds.

But how much do you enjoy having the old ‘paddle pop stick’ – or wooden tongue depressor – shoved into your mouth while a torch probes around the oral cavity? This can be particularly upsetting for children, and it makes life harder for the doctor.

Troubled by the need for her to restrain her child while a doctor performed an oral examination, one mother embarked on a mission to solve what she saw as a basic but unnecessary problem faced by all involved. As a result, Jennifer Holland created the Throat Scope.

How it works

The Throat Scope is an illuminated tongue depressor that offers the advantages of having the depressor and the light combined into one. A disposable plastic blade is inserted into a handle with an in-built LED light, which illuminates the throat and mouth from the inside. The handle itself contains two batteries that provide up to 20hrs of use, after which time the handle can be easily disposed of and replaced by a new one. It’s not just convenient, but also cost-effective.

As it can be easily used with in one hand, it gives doctors the freedom to gently hold or adjust the head of the patient and complete a fast, pleasant and accurate oral examination that’s also more comfortable for the patient.

From light bulb moment to reality

This nifty little piece of equipment appeared on Network Ten’s Shark Tank, a TV show where aspiring entrepreneurs compete with one another by presenting their ideas to a panel of investors, also known as ‘sharks’. Holland’s pitch was enough to impress investor Steve Baxter, who described its child-friendly potential by saying “kids will think this is a lightsabre”.

The beauty of the Throat Scope lies in its simplicity. While it was primarily designed as an essential everyday item for doctors, it is also becoming more and more popular for use at home. There is even interest blossoming among veterinarians and the special forces, two sectors where the ability to free up a second hand is a huge advantage.

We’re proud to be stocking the Throat Scope here at Team Medical Supplies, including both starter packs and top-up boxes to keep you well stocked. You can view our Throat Scope range here.