This app detects infections of the ear directly over the microphone of the smartphone

Infections affecting the ear are painful and can be complicated to diagnose. Worse still, when they are badly treated, they can cause hearing disorders major, but also of the difficulties of learning and language. The youngest, who still have trouble speaking, do not always manage to put words on the symptoms.

The most common is otitis media, which is characterized by the accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum. A team of researcher from the university of Washington has therefore developed an application that is capable of detecting infections with a smartphone and a simple piece of paper, folded into a funnel, as reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Once inserted in the ear, the mobile device will emit sound signals that will pass through the piece of paper. As a function of the reverberation sound of the latter, the application will be able to determine the presence of fluid behind the eardrum. The accuracy rate announced by the researchers is 85% on an age group between 9 months to 17 years. If a problem is detected, the parents can decide to bring the child to a specialist.

Credits : Dennis Wise/University of Washington

Shyam Gollakota, one of the authors of the study, explains that the advantage of such an application is its ease of use.

One of the main advantages of our technology is that it requires no extra hardware, except a piece of paper and a software application running on the smartphone

It also states that it could be useful in the medical deserts or regions poor. It should quickly be put on sale in the United States, but there is no doubt that the company that marketed (Edu, Health) might want to propose it to the international.