Image credit – Dennis Wise/University of Washington


Thanks to technology, our smartphones have come a very long way from being just a device that can make phone calls, send emails, play music, and surf the web. These days our smartphones are becoming increasingly competent where they are being used in the medical field as ultrasound scanners and also as tools to help detect Alzheimer’s.

This is why it doesn’t really come as a surprise to learn that researchers have recently developed an app that can use our smartphones together with a paper cone to help diagnose ear infections. This will come in handy for parents with young children who might have a hard time trying to let their parents know that they have an ear infection.

Through the use of the app and the cone, it will be able to diagnose it in which parents can then take their kids to see a doctor to sort it out. How does it work? By using our smartphone’s speakers, it funnels a sound through the cone and based on the echo of the sound picked up by the app, it will be able to tell if there might be fluid behind the eardrum.

So far based on their tests which involved about 50 children, it was found that the app was right 85% of the time. Some have pointed out that fluid behind the eardrum might not necessarily be an indication of an infection, and have suggested that the app’s creators include additional information to parents on how to interpret the results before going to the doctor.

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