Kenvue’s Tylenol has launched a kids’ otoscope (the gizmo doctors use for ear examinations), branded as SmartCheck from Children’s Tylenol.
This kids’ otoscope is not a toy, but a telehealth tool for parental use that marks the first-ever medical device brand extension in Tylenol’s nearly 70-year history. It’s now available for $79.95 on Amazon or at Albertsons, Walmart and Rite Aid retail locations
When hooked up to compatible mobile devices, SmartCheck from Children’s Tylenol allows parents to capture video and photos of children’s eardrums and share them with healthcare professionals.
Via email, Marketing Daily spoke with Jennifer Gow, Kenvue’s head of commercial pain, about the rollout of SmartCheck from Children’s Tylenol.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Marketing Daily: Why did Tylenol decide now was the time to move into health tech?
Jennifer Gow: Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor’s office. That’s why Children’s Tylenol set out to identify a solution to provide parents and caretakers access to care 24/7.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen consumers crave new ways to control their health at home and desire more remote access options to healthcare. These virtual-first consumers created the need for us to innovate and venture into health tech. Regardless of the time of day or distance from the pediatrician, SmartCheck can help provide parents with peace of mind by offering 24/7 access to expert care when a child is experiencing symptoms commonly seen with ear infections.
Marketing Daily: Are any additional medical devices on the horizon for Tylenol or Children’s Tylenol?
Gow: We’re consistently working to offer solutions for our consumers’ healthcare needs and solve for unmet needs. I cannot speak to future device innovation, but we will continue to ensure our innovation is centered around providing access to care.
Marketing Daily: Is Tylenol working directly with pediatricians so that they’ll recommend SmartCheck to parents?
Gow: Yes, there is a healthcare professional strategy in place with the goal that this new device can be a beneficial tool for the medical community in the care and triaging of their patients. Traditionally, ear infections had to be diagnosed though in-person visits due to the need to view the tympanic membrane. However, with our SmartCheck technology, pediatricians have a new resource to leverage in providing care virtually and getting patients to solutions to feel better.
Marketing Daily: Can you share a little about the otoscope’s development?
Gow: SmartCheck from Children’s Tylenol was developed with our in-house cross-functional team. The goal was to meet an unmet need for consumers, turning a previously professional-only tool into a consumer-friendly, cost-accessible device -- while retaining the high performance and quality required for successful HCP triage.
We knew the following needed to be true for this innovation to be successful:
1. Phones can be used as an otoscope.
2. Caregivers can record images of their children’s ears.
3. Healthcare providers can use these images for successful medical triage.
In under three years the innovation process incorporated feedback from over 130 parents and over 1,300 medical professionals and resulted in seven device iterations, eight software releases, and six patent applications.
Marketing Daily: What makes SmartCheck different from other
Gow: Our innovation sets us apart from competitors in the following ways:
The access. Regardless of the time of day or distance from the pediatrician, SmartCheck provides parents with access to expert care when a child is experiencing symptoms of a potential ear infection – all from the comfort of their home.
The ease. Simply slide SmartCheck over a compatible iPhone or Android camera, snap a recording of your child’s eardrum, and share to your doctor or telemedicine provider.
The technology. The device comes with a patented “Eardrum Finder,” which helps guide the caregiver.