A new smartphone app is currently being developed which will allow parents to determine whether their children have ear infections.
Your child being upset, ill, or hurt and not knowing how you can make them feel better is one of the most helpless feelings a parent can have. You've fed them, changed them, burped them, yet something is still wrong. Plus, if they are below a certain age, they have no other way to tell you that something is wrong other than to cry.
Chances are your little one might have an ear infection. According to Fatherly, middle ear fluid and ear infections affect more than 80% of children. Trouble is, as we mentioned above, if they can't verbalize their feelings yet, they can't tell you that their ear is hurting. Some children will develop a fever and others might tug at their ear, but that isn't always the case.
Thanks to some savvy scientists, figuring out whether your child has an ear infection is about to get a whole lot easier. A study published in Science Transitional Medicine has published details about a smartphone app that is currently in development which can detect ear infections. It apparently works across most smartphones and has an 85% success rate, similar to what you'll get at the doctor's office.
So how does this sorcery work? Well, it starts with a piece of A4 paper. The app explains how to shape the paper into the cone that you will need to place in your child's ear. The app will then emit a chirp into the cone, and the microphone will listen for the echo it returns. That echo tells the app whether your child has an ear infection. Pretty clever, huh?
Don't go racing to the app store quite yet. While the scientists who have developed the app boast that it works, it still needs FDA approval before it can be rolled out to the public. Its creators don't want it to replace trips to the doctor's office, but to hopefully alleviate some unnecessary visits. They have compared its potential use to how parents have used thermometers for decades, to monitor whether their child is okay rather than to diagnose them.