Using a smartphone to sound out sign of kids' ear infections

In this undated photo provided by the University of Washington in May 2019, Dr. Randall Bly uses a uses a phone app and a paper funnel to focus the sound, to check his daughter for an ear infection, at the UW School of Medicine in Seattle. Bly and other researchers at the school have developed the system to “hear” a warning sign of ear infections _ fluid build-up behind the eardrum. (Dennis Wise/University of Washington via AP)

WASHINGTON — Researchers have created a way for a smartphone to "hear" a warning sign of ear infections — fluid buildup behind the eardrum.

Ear infections are common in children, and even if there's no infection, fluid in the middle ear can be painful and sometimes muffle hearing enough to harm speech development.

The smartphone approach detects if the eardrum vibrates normally in response to sound, or is stiff from fluid behind it. University of Washington researchers developed an experimental app that beams in sound and analyzes how it bounces off the eardrum.

A study found the tool worked as well as some doctors' tests. Researchers are seeking Food and Drug Administration approval.

The study was published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

You may also interested in

APNewsBreak: California may beef up electric...

Aug 13, 2016

California lawmaker to introduce legislation requiring 15 percent of all new vehicles be zero...

Incumbent US Sen. Brian Schatz wins Hawaii primary

Aug 14, 2016

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz wins the Democratic primary and is likely to keep his seat in...

Webcam whale research buoyed by viewers around...

Aug 15, 2016

Canadian researchers are turning to internet to learn about the social behavior thousands of beluga...

Study: Most of methane hot spot comes from...

Aug 15, 2016

A puzzling concentration of the greenhouse gas methane over the Southwestern United States appears...

NASA: Last month was Earth's hottest in recorded...

Aug 15, 2016

NASA calculates that Earth broiled to its hottest month in recorded history in July

The Next Daily is the new generation of online publication, serving you the most recent discoveries made in science and technology on a daily basis. At The Next Daily, we believe in the power of consistent and reliable reporting to inspire and move mankind forward.

Contact us: sales[at]thenextdaily.com