A portable data collection device is provided for diagnostic image and data collection at a remote location. The device is implemented as an otoscope including a speculum and light source for illumination of the ear canal. A digital camera element collects the reflected images and provides the images to a processor. The processor processes the images using pattern matching techniques and displays and/or stores suitable images. The images are transferred to a base station for subsequent transmission to a remote server or computer, where an authorized party may access and examine the images. An authorization or prescription from the remote server or computer may be required to enable data collection and transmission by the otoscope.