Objective: To assess optical performance and diagnostic capability of the Endockscope system (ES) vs the standard endoscopic system (SES) using four rigid/semi-rigid endoscopes. The ES combines a smartphone, lens system, and a rechargeable light-emitting diode (LED) light source to provide a low-cost alternative ($45) to the standard camera and high-powered light source ($45,000) used in endoscopic procedures. Materials and Methods: Video clips (<20 seconds) of standard rigid nephroscopy, semi-rigid ureteroscopy, rigid cystoscopy, and laparoscopy in two adult male cadavers were recorded using the ES combined with either the Apple iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9+ and also with the high-definition SES (Karl Storz). Sixteen urologists blinded to the camera modality assessed the image resolution, brightness, color, sharpness, and overall quality using a Likert-type scale; acceptability for diagnostic purposes was judged on a binary scale (yes/no). Results: For rigid cystoscopy, there was no statistical difference between both ES systems and the SES. For semi-rigid ureteroscopy the two ES systems performed equal to or better than the SES. For rigid nephroscopy, the ES plus Galaxy was comparable to the SES, except in brightness (p < 0.05), whereas the ES plus iPhone was inferior in various parameters. For laparoscopy, the ES plus Galaxy was inferior to the SES in brightness and overall quality (p < 0.05); the ES plus iPhone was inferior for all laparoscopic image parameters compared with the SES. For diagnostic purposes, the ES plus Galaxy was equivalent to the SES for all endoscopes; the ES plus iPhone was equivalent to the SES for cystoscopy, ureteroscopy, and nephroscopy. Conclusion: The ES plus the Apple iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9+ offers comparable imaging and provides diagnostic information equivalent to the standard system for rigid endoscopy of the kidney, ureter, and bladder; the Galaxy S9+ provides comparable imaging and diagnostic capabilities for evaluation of the abdomen.
Keywords: endockscope; mobile technology; nephrolithiasis; rigid endoscopy; smartphones.