Thursday May 23, 2019

First Smartphone App to Diagnose Child’s Ear Infections

The app plays a sound to detect ear infections

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app, ear infections
FILE - A child has his ear examined by a doctor at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, Nov. 20, 2006. VOA

A team at the University of Washington has invented a smartphone app that, when used with a paper funnel, is able to detect ear infections in children, helping parents decide whether a trip to the doctor is warranted.

The app, which was described in the journal Science Transnational Medicine on Wednesday, plays a sound akin to a bird chirp into a child’s ear canal via a simple funnel the parents put together.

It plays for 1.2 seconds and then uses the phone’s mic to listen in: If fluids or pus have accumulated behind the eardrum, in the middle ear, the sound pattern of the returned echo will indicate an infection.

“The way to think about it is almost like a wine glass,” said Shyam Gollakota, head of the lab that developed the project.

“And if you tap on the wine glass, you’re going to get a different sound depending on the level of liquid in the wine glass.”

app, ear infections
The goal is to resolve some of the biggest health issues at lower costs. Wikimedia Commons

It had a success rate of 85 percent when tested on around a hundred cases and, according to Gollakota, is more accurate than a visual inspection by a doctor.

If an infection is detected, parents will need to go to a doctor anyway for confirmation and to get a prescription.

Gollakota likened its utility to that of a thermometer, which helps people decide whether a visit to a doctor is appropriate.

Other apps

The ear infection app is just one of several ideas being developed by the lab at the intersection of mobile technology and health.

Also Read- Sony India Launches New Soundbar with Dolby Atmos

The goal is to resolve some of the biggest health issues that people face today at lower costs.

Gollakota’s team has also built another application to detect sleep apnea, and another that warns the relatives or friends of a person taking opioids if they appear to be overdosing.

He hopes to obtain regulatory approval for the ear infection app by the end of the year and have it available in the market by early 2020. (VOA)

Next Story

OYO Launches Lighter Version of its App for Android Users

OYO today has footprint in more than 800 cities across 24 countries

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Oyo
India’s largest hotel chain OYO on Thursday announced the global launch of a lighter version of its app — “Oyo Lite” — for the Android users.
Designed to work in areas of low connectivity, the “OYO Lite” app is sized just 800KB, which is less than 7 per cent of the size of the current OYO app, the company said in a statement.
“OYO Lite has been designed as a solution to connectivity and storage constraints on phones. We feel that this product would be ideal for travellers who are remotely connected to the Internet as well as those with basic smartphones,” said Anil Goel, Chief Technology Officer, OYO Hotels and Homes.
The app also features an in-app SOS button to ensure assistance from the on-ground hotel staff as well as from 24×7 OYO Safety Response Team (SRT).
Oyo
Oyo mobile app.
The button is also capable to initiate a call with local law enforcement authorities across the country, the company added.
OYO, however, did not elaborate on plans to make the Lite app available for iOS users.
OYO today has footprint in more than 800 cities across 24 countries.
With over 18,000 buildings and 636,000 units under management and more than 45,000-holiday homes, the company is backed by leading investors, including the SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, Hero Enterprise and China Lodging Group. (IANS)