Smartphone 'hears' kids' ear infections

Smartphone 'hears' kids' ear infections

The chirps are reflected back to the phone differently depending on whether fluid is present or not. This percentage is comparable to those of diagnostic procedures used by specialists to detect fluid buildup in the middle ear, with common methods including acoustics or puffing air into the ear.

A system using the speaker and microphone of a smartphone and a handmade paper funnel could be a more effective tool for diagnosing ear infections than a traditional otoscope, according to a study published this week in Science Translational Medicine.

"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", says Gollakota. The eardrum, formally known as the tympanic membrane, is the barrier between the outer and middle ear.

Middle ear infections result in fluid build-up in the space behind the eardrum; these infections are often painful and may result in fussy children who pull at their ears and complain of general discomfort.

Lastly, in another experiment, Chan's team had parents try to use the app on 25 ears, following a brief tutorial.

"It's like tapping a wine glass", Justin Chan, a doctoral student at the University of Washington, said. "Depending on how much liquid is in it, you get different sounds".

When there is no fluid behind the eardrum, the eardrum vibrates and sends a variety of sound waves back.

More news: FCC to vote on robocall rules
More news: Tati Westbrook breaks silence on James Charles, asks for ‘hate to stop’
More news: Realme X gets announced with pop-up selfie cam, costs under $300

The funnel used can be made from any piece of paper that either the physician or consumer can cut and fold to form the tool.

Researchers said the app works on kids of all ages and that they were able to train parents involved in the study to use the app at home.

One researcher offered a useful analogy - and one that frustrated parents might relate to. Prior to their operation, each patient's ear was analyzed using the smartphone system.

"The definitive way to know if there is fluid is to make an incision in the eardrum", Gollakota explained. The other half were scheduled to undergo surgery unrelated to the ears. It has vague symptoms, from tug of the ears to fever, or there could be no observable symptoms at all. Ears full of fluid reflect the sound differently than healthy ears do, so the researchers trained a machine learning algorithm to detect the difference. The system correctly identified all five ears that did have fluid and nine of the 10 ears that did not have fluid.

There are already very accurate tests (around 80 to 90 per cent) that can diagnose ear fluid by looking for subtle changes in the eardrum, such as tympanometry, but these need to be done at a doctor's office and require specialised medical equipment.

"A quick screening at home could help parents decide whether or not they need to take their child to the doctor", researchers said.

Related Articles

  • Helicopter goes down in Hudson River; pilot OK

    Helicopter goes down in Hudson River; pilot OK

    The helicopter eventually capsized and sank mostly beneath the water but was kept from going to the bottom by the floats. According to the New York City Fire Department , there are no injuries as a result of the crash.
    Dead, 1 Missing After Alaska Floatplanes Collide

    Dead, 1 Missing After Alaska Floatplanes Collide

    The mid-air collision between a de Havilland Otter DHC-3 and a smaller DHC-2 Beaver is being investigated by the U.S. The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the collision, which happened around 1 pm local time.
    Asus Zenfone 6 with flip camera launched, takes on OnePlus 7 Pro

    Asus Zenfone 6 with flip camera launched, takes on OnePlus 7 Pro

    It is, however, compatible with the Android Q Beta program and, as an added bonus, an update to Android Q is also being promised. These include double-tap-to-wake, smart volume, a dark mode and general improvements to the speed of the UI and UI animations.
  • Real Madrid To Offload Up To 14 Players This Summer

    Real Madrid To Offload Up To 14 Players This Summer

    With rumors of Neymar headed to Real Madrid , PSG have been linked with Isco, Gareth Bale , and Toni Kroos. Bale is the highest profile name on the list of players to be sold.
    Tiger Woods, Girlfriend Sued After Bartender's Death

    Tiger Woods, Girlfriend Sued After Bartender's Death

    The family claims Woods and Herman knew Immesberger had a habitual problem with alcohol but allowed him to be served anyway. Legal court documents reveal that Immesberger's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at.256.
    I.M. Pei, architect who designed Cleveland’s Rock Hall, dies at 102

    I.M. Pei, architect who designed Cleveland’s Rock Hall, dies at 102

    He then enrolled in Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, where he received a master's degree in architecture in 1946. FILE - General view of the Louvre Museum in Paris, with the glass Pyramid entrance designed by Chinese-born US architect I.M.
  • BC government announces probe of money laundering | Regional

    BC government announces probe of money laundering | Regional

    Just in 2018 alone, it's estimated that $7 billion in dirty money was laundered in B.C., and as a result, drove up house prices. He may not jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation or affecst the "the exercise of prosecutorial discretion".
    Faulty Pixel users to get up to $500 from Google

    Faulty Pixel users to get up to $500 from Google

    Google set aside $7.25 million for the settlement fund - if that's not enough, the money will be distributed on a pro-rata basis. A final decision will be made by the courts on 5 June, and if the deal is approved Google will start splashing the cash.
    Is OnePlus 7 Pro an iPhone, Samsung Killer or Yet Another Pretender?

    Is OnePlus 7 Pro an iPhone, Samsung Killer or Yet Another Pretender?

    On the other hand, OnePlus is offering an exchange discount of Rs 4,550 for the OnePlus 3 and Rs 2,950 for the OnePlus X . Those who pre-booked the OnePlus 7 Pro earlier, can now get the OnePlus 7 Pro any time before May 31, Gadgets360 reports.
  • White House counsel criticizes House probe

    White House counsel criticizes House probe

    The senior official noted presidents of both parties have exerted those rights. And before you do it, the American people have to support it".
    Skull & Bones Delayed and Won’t Be at E3

    Skull & Bones Delayed and Won’t Be at E3

    Throw in The Division 2, and 2019 is looking solid towards the usual Q4 big budget release from the French company. Ubisoft says it has four triple-A games that will release this fiscal year, meaning before the end of March 2020.
    Five Deeps Expedition Conducts Deepest Submarine Dive

    Five Deeps Expedition Conducts Deepest Submarine Dive

    Anthony Geffen, creative director of Atlantic Productions, said it was the most complicated filming he'd ever been involved with. According to the BBC , the pressure at the bottom of the ocean is equal to about 50 jumbo jets piled on top of a person.