An innovation platform sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation
Identifying Eustachian Tube Dysfunction – Aarhus University Hospital

Identifying Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

80% of surgically treated middle-ear pathologies are caused by Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD), which is a major predictor of cholesteatoma and other middle-ear diseases. Early identification of ETD can prevent long-term consequences, reduce the number of surgical procedures performed, lessen demands on healthcare staff, and relieve patients from years of uncertainty and discomfort.

The Inspiration Behind the Innovation

ETD is often diagnosed too late – only after complications such as cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, chronic secretoric otitis media or hearing impairment have developed. A patient usually goes through multiple examinations over several years before they’re diagnosed with ETD. That’s because the current gold standard of diagnosing ETD is based on ruling out other conditions. Existing solutions for measuring middle-ear pressure only offer a snapshot, which is insufficient when examining a dynamic structure such as the middle ear. 

The Innovation 

This new medical device, which is the size of an earpod and is applied to the ear canal, utilises the natural physiological properties of the ear canal, ear drum and middle-ear structures to provide longterm middle-ear pressure measurements. This entails a unique user experience where diagnosis simply requires the patient to listen to music, a favourite podcast, or a movie.

An algorithm interprets the data and produces a one-page results summary that clinicians can use to assess the eustachian tube’s function. Utilising this technology makes it possible to diagnose ETD at the patient's first appointment, mitigating the development of the condition's later consequences. Early diagnosis reduces the need for complicated middle-ear surgeries and the demand for scarce surgical resources while introducing the possibility to manage the root cause of middle-ear disease rather than its consequences.

The Team

Kasper Linde: Medical Doctor; Biomedical Design Novo Nordisk Foundation Fellowship Programme Alumni 2019/20; and CSO, Zeta Diagnostics

Kristian Klok Pedersen: Software & Management; CEO, Zeta Diagnostics

Danny Bøjstrup Pedersen: Health Technology Engineer; CTO/CCO, Zeta Diagnostics