Country: IndiaCountry: MexicoCurrent Extreme NewsFocus: Medical DevicePartner: SmileTrainPost-Extreme Lab: Design Lab

Scopi: A Low-Cost Nasoendoscope for Doctors in Mexico and India

Scopi is a diagnostic medical device for patients with a speech or sleep disorder. A low-cost, portable, and reliable nasoendoscope, Scopi can be used by Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) physicians and speech therapists to view, diagnose, and track structural defects in pediatric patients.


One of the largest causes for a speech disorder is cleft lip and/or palate. Over 500 children are born with cleft palate every day around the world and each child needs at least three nasoendoscopies as part of their treatment. Without access to devices like Scopi, patients spend years in ineffective speech therapy and are unable to communicate with their family, friends, and peers. Young children entering school with unaddressed speech impediments face delayed language development, educational setbacks, social isolation, and low self-esteem.


Only 12% of speech and sleep clinics in emerging economies have access to a nasoendoscope, despite the fact that physicians in this specialty consider it “as essential as a stethoscope.” This gap in global patient care is caused by the fact that current nasoendoscope systems on the market cost upwards of $90,000 USD. Scopi has a retail price of less than $5,000USD. This 95% cost decrease over existing products was achieved by designing for what physicians needed and wanted, allowing for the removal of entire components and for capitalization on recent advances in manufacturing and supply chain.


Scopi was created during our 2018 class in partnership with Smile Train in Mexico, a long-time partner of Design for Extreme Affordability. Smile Train is an international charity that funds cleft surgeries in the developing world. After the class, Scopi continued developing their product in both our Social-E Lab and Design Lab, and will be graduating from Design Lab this year. Scopi has used that time to prototype and test their medical device with physicians and patients in India and Mexico, and manufacture a to-scale working prototype. The team is now working on FDA submission and looking forward at launching into the market. Scopi has received funding and support from the Stanford Maternal and Child Health SEED Grant, Fishbowl Challenge (an international business plan competition), and ZeroTo510 (a medical device accelerator).


Scopi’s team is led by Anna von Wendorff (M.S. Mechanical Engineering ‘19, and Ashdeep Seth (B.S. Product Design ‘19, The original team who worked on the project during the 2018 class was Anna von Wendorff, Maya Ramachandran (M.D. ‘21) and Ashwini Ramamoorthy (M.S. ‘19). Lyle Smith (PhD ‘83) has been advising and supporting the team since the completion of the class.