Researchers have developed a smartphone-based app that can detect a child’s ear infection, helping parents know if their child needs to visit the doctor.
An ear infection is one of the most common, yet also one of the most irritating reasons that your child may need to visit their doctor. The issue for many parents is that detecting a suspected ear infection is near impossible. Thankfully, researchers have developed a new app that enables issues in the ear to be detected, and all you need is a smartphone!
A Promising Start
Trials of the program are off to a promising start, with the test found to have the same or greater accuracy than a doctor Gizmodo reports.
“Even in developing countries, smartphones are becoming common,” co-author of the study Justin Chan said. “So if this app can give doctors specialist-level accuracy, that could really change how ear infections are managed on a global level.”
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The app works by playing chirping sounds, which are then funnelled into the ear canal by a piece of paper taped to the phone. The sound bounces off the middle ear and back to the phone, and from this, the odds of fluid in the ear are able to be calculated. How incredible is that!?
Plenty Of Potential
Researchers hope that the app will give doctors working in less-developed areas an accessible tool to allow them to effectively diagnose ear infections, but also that parents will be able to use the technology to know when their child needs to see a doctor.
“The ability to know how often and for how long fluid has been present could help us make the best management decisions for patients and parents,” co-author Dr Randall Bly said. “It also could help primary care providers to know when to refer to a specialist.”
We think this app will make the lives of parents a lot easier, especially when looking after little ones!
What is the best app that you have used to make parenting easier? Let us know in the comments!
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