NICE has developed a medtech innovation briefing (MIB) on the Otovent nasal balloon for otitis media with effusion.

Otovent is a balloon device designed to relieve the symptoms of otitis media with effusion, commonly known as glue ear. An Otovent kit consists of a nose piece and 5 latex balloons that are inflated by blowing through the nose. Four randomised controlled trials, all in children, have shown that using the device causes significant improvements, compared with standard care, in middle ear function; 1 of the trials also reported a significant reduction in the need for ventilation tube (grommet) insertion surgery. Outcomes varied by compliance with treatment, and standard care was not consistently described. The Otovent kit is available to buy or can be provided on a NHS prescription. The recommended retail price is £7.84 including VAT and the current Drug Tariff price is £4.90 excluding VAT. No additional consumables are needed.

MIBs provide a description of the medical technology, including its likely place in therapy, the costs of using the technology and a critical review of the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant published evidence.

Their purpose is to provide objective information on device and diagnostic technologies to aid local decision-making by clinicians, managers and procurement professionals. By making this information available, NICE helps to avoid the need for NHS organisations to produce similar information for local use.

MIBs are not NICE guidance. They differ in format, contain no judgement on the value of the technology and do not constitute a guidance recommendation.

MIBs are commissioned by NHS England and produced in support of the NHS 5 Year Forward View, specifically as one of a number of steps which will accelerate innovation in new treatments and diagnostics.