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App Could Spot Kids’ Ear Infections

App Could Spot Kids’ Ear Infections

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Can a smartphone app spot an ear an infection?

It did so with prime accuracy in new analysis.

Ear infections happen when fluid builds up at the back of the eardrum and will get infected. Though an ear an infection can harm and make it onerous to listen to, on occasion there are not any signs and analysis will also be tough.

This app makes use of a smartphone’s microphone and speaker and a work of paper to come across fluid at the back of the eardrum.

The app activates the smartphone to emit a sequence of sentimental, audible chirps which might be directed into the ear via a small paper funnel. Depending at the manner the chirps are mirrored again to the telephone, the app determines the possibility of fluid at the back of the eardrum.

“It’s like tapping a wine glass,” mentioned co-first writer Justin Chan, a doctoral pupil within the School of Computer Science and Engineering on the University of Washington in Seattle.

“Depending on how much liquid is in it, you get different sounds,” he defined in a school information liberate. “Using machine learning on these sounds, we can detect the presence of liquid.”

To teach the app to come across adjustments in sound, the University of Washington researchers examined 53 kids, elderly 18 months to 17 years, at Seattle Children’s Hospital. About part have been scheduled to go through surgical operation to position tubes of their ears, a commonplace remedy for continual fluid buildup. The different part have been scheduled to have surgical operation unrelated to ears, comparable to a tonsillectomy.

“What is really unique about this study is that we used the gold standard for diagnosing ear infections,” mentioned co-first writer Dr. Sharat Raju, a surgical resident. “When we put in ear tubes, we make an incision into the eardrum and drain any fluid present. That’s the best way to tell if there is fluid behind the eardrum.”

The app as it should be known the possibility of fluid 85% of the time — very similar to specialised equipment that use acoustics or a pant of air for the aim, researchers mentioned.

The find out about was once revealed May 15 within the magazine Science Translational Medicine.


“Designing an accurate screening tool on something as ubiquitous as a smartphone can be game-changing for parents as well as health care providers in resource-limited regions,” co-author Shyam Gollakota mentioned within the information liberate. He’s an affiliate professor of laptop science and engineering.

“A key advantage of our technology is that it does not require any additional hardware other than a piece of paper and a software app running on the smartphone,” Gollakota added.

Ear infections are the commonest explanation why youngsters see a pediatrician, in line with the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Researchers plan to commercialize the app and make it to be had to the general public.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: University of Washington, information liberate, May 15, 2019

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