Smartphone device can diagnose ear infections

video-otoscope-umea-university-copyright

A new smartphone attachment developed by researchers from Umea University in Sweden and the University of Pretoria in South Africa can be used to diagnose ear infections, a condition that affects five out of 6 children by the time they are 3-years-old.

This device, a custom-made digital otoscope, connects to a smartphone and uses a software-based method to automatically analyze the images taken from the otoscope. This image-processing technique is supposed to simplify and accelerate the diagnosis of ear infections.

Although complications of ear infections are rare, they can lead to a ruptured eardrum, hearing loss, and can even cause meningitis.

Researchers found that the automatically generated diagnoses of images taken with a video-otoscope had an 80.6 percent accuracy while the analysis of images captured on-site with a low-cost, digital otoscope had an accuracy of 78.7 percent.

These automated computer-based image-analyzing system could also provide rapid access to accurate diagnoses in developing countries.

Source: GoodNews Network

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