iPhones For Ear Infections - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

iPhones For Ear Infections

Posted: Updated:

ATLANTA  (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Three out of four children will experience an ear infection by the age of three. But soon diagnosing the common problem may not require a trip to the doctor's office.

You use your phone to talk, text, play games, but could it tell you if your child is sick?

14-month-old Harper Barrett has an ear infection.

"She just got her second one," Megan Barrett, Harper's mother, told Ivanhoe.

It's one of the most common reasons kids see their pediatricians. But Barrett says it's hard to know when an earache merits a trip to the doctor.

"If you take her, and she doesn't have an ear infection, then it's a waste of time and money," Megan Barrett said.

A new product may be the answer parents like Megan have been waiting for; an iPhone otoscope.

The instrument slides right onto the phone. It contains fiber optic cables that connect with the phone's light, along with a small magnifying glass.  To use it, open the app, push a button, put it up to the ear and record a video clip.

The idea is parents take pictures and video at home, and then send it to their doctor, who will tell them if they need to come in. In a clinical trial, researchers found images captured with the iPhone are at least as good as those captured with the standard instrument.

"We are looking to see if the images we can get from this device are of diagnostic quality," Kathryn Rappaport, Medical Student at the Emory University School of Medicine told Ivanhoe.

Pediatrician Andi Shane, Assistant Professor at the Emory University School of Medicine, says the new technology is more advanced.

"The only thing that, a conventional otoscope, is providing is a light source," Pediatrician Andi Shane, told Ivanhoe.  She says the device could save time, money and maybe even reduce the use of antibiotics.

Megan would love to give it a try, "just to be able to check it out myself, and be able to send it to the doctor, it would be amazing," she was quoted as saying.

Researchers finished the initial clinical trial in February and are currently working on publishing the results. The company that makes the device is planning to launch it this coming fall. It will likely cost between $99 and $199.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

BACKGROUND: An ear infection (acute otitis media) is most often a bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear; the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. The infection often results from another illness -- cold, flu, or allergy -- that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat, and Eustachian tubes.  Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections, but adults can get them as well. Ear infections are a common reason parents bring their child to a doctor. Three out of four children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. (SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com;www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/earinfections.html)

SYMPTOMS: The onset of signs and symptoms of ear infection is usually rapid. Symptoms of ear infection include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Drainage of fluid from the ear
  • Loss of balance

(SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.comwww.emedicinehealth.com

RISK FACTORS: Risk factors for ear infections include:

  • Daycare - Children cared for in group settings are more likely to get colds and ear infections than are children who stay home.
  • Infant feeding - Babies who drink from a bottle tend to have more ear infections than babies who are breast-fed.
  • Poor air quality - Exposure to tobacco smoke or high levels of air pollution can increase the risk of ear infection.

(SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com)

HOME EAR EXAMINATION: A home ear examination can help parents detect many ear problems; such as, ear infections, excessive earwax, or an object in the ear canal. Wilbur Lam, MD, PhD, from Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology created a smartphone-enabled otoscope for remote diagnosis of pediatric ear infections.  The Remotoscope is a clip-on attachment and software app that turns an iPhone into a digital otoscope.

(SOURCE: www.webmd.com;www.actsi.org/news/2012/Documents/Lam%20Interview_ccm_final.pdf)

TREATMENT: The goal of treatment for most doctors is to rid the middle ear of infection before more serious complications set in. Treatment usually involves eliminating the causes of the ear infection, killing any invading bacteria, boosting the immune system, and reducing swelling in the Eustachian tube. Doctors typically prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection, usually Amoxicillin, but there are home remedies, such as:

  • Steam inhalations or a warm compress
  • When bottle feeding, make sure the baby is in an upright position
  • Gargling with salt water helps soothe an aggravated throat and may help clear the Eustachian tubes

(SOURCE: www.webmd.com)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Wilbur A. Lam, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta / Emory University School of Medicine
wilbur.lam@emory.edu

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Drug To Prevent Alzheimer's

    Drug To Prevent Alzheimer's

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:15:05 GMT
    Everyone-- no matter if you are a man or woman, family history or not-- with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the biggest risk factor and America is aging. Right now, dozens of research sites across the country are testing an experimental drug to see if it might prevent memory loss associated with this terrible disease.more>>
    Everyone-- no matter if you are a man or woman, family history or not-- with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the biggest risk factor and America is aging. Right now, dozens of research sites across the country are testing an experimental drug to see if it might prevent memory loss associated with this terrible disease.more>>
  • Could Down Syndrome Be The Key To Alzheimer's?

    Could Down Syndrome Be The Key To Alzheimer's?

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:15:13 GMT
    More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. More than 400,000 of them also have Down syndrome. What does a condition seen at birth have in common with a disease typically diagnosed in the elderly? Quite a bit.more>>
    More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. More than 400,000 of them also have Down syndrome. What does a condition seen at birth have in common with a disease typically diagnosed in the elderly? Quite a bit.more>>
  • Extreme Workouts

    Extreme Workouts

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:04:23 GMT
    Workout routines have taken a tortuous turn. Running through mud and fighting in cages are just some of the latest extreme workouts, but one wrong move and you could be in trouble.more>>
    Workout routines have taken a tortuous turn. Running through mud and fighting in cages are just some of the latest extreme workouts, but one wrong move and you could be in trouble.more>>
  • Extreme Skin

    Extreme Skin

    Thursday, July 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-17 21:15:05 GMT
    Last year, Americans underwent more than 11-million cosmetic procedures and spent nearly $12-billion on skin rejuvenation. Everyone wants their skin to look younger, healthier and better, but some are taking it to an extreme.more>>
    Last year, Americans underwent more than 11-million cosmetic procedures and spent nearly $12-billion on skin rejuvenation. Everyone wants their skin to look younger, healthier and better, but some are taking it to an extreme.more>>
  • Extreme Diets

    Extreme Diets

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-16 21:15:07 GMT
    Dieting is an American pastime. About 45-million of us diet each year, and we spend about $33-billion on weight-loss products. There are more ways to diet than ever and some are pretty extreme.more>>
    Dieting is an American pastime. About 45-million of us diet each year, and we spend about $33-billion on weight-loss products. There are more ways to diet than ever and some are pretty extreme.more>>
  • Frozen Lumpectomy For Prostate

    Frozen Lumpectomy For Prostate

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-15 21:15:08 GMT
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American Cancer Society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.more>>
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American Cancer Society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.more>>
  • Bariatric Surgery For Diabetes

    Bariatric Surgery For Diabetes

    Wednesday, July 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. For years, we’ve heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes. Now, a new study is showing how well the popular surgery is working to stop this serious disease.more>>
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. For years, we’ve heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes. Now, a new study is showing how well the popular surgery is working to stop this serious disease.more>>
  • Ankle Replacement

    Ankle Replacement

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-08 21:15:10 GMT
    More than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Between 6 percent and 13 percent of them have ankle arthritis. These patients feel pain with every single step they take, but now ankle replacements are giving patients a new lease on life.more>>
    More than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Between 6 percent and 13 percent of them have ankle arthritis. These patients feel pain with every single step they take, but now ankle replacements are giving patients a new lease on life.more>>
  • 3D Knee

    3D Knee

    Monday, July 7 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-07 21:15:09 GMT
    In the past ten years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before. Now, new technology allows doctors to make replacement knees that are the perfect fit.more>>
    In the past ten years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before. Now, new technology allows doctors to make replacement knees that are the perfect fit.more>>
  • Breath of Life for Heart Patients

    Breath of Life for Heart Patients

    Thursday, July 3 2014 6:20 PM EDT2014-07-03 22:20:13 GMT
    Heart failure, 5.7 million people in the U.S. have it and 55-thousand die from it each year. By definition, it means your heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support all your other organs. Now, a simple breath test could make it easier and faster for doctors to diagnose.more>>
    Heart failure, 5.7 million people in the U.S. have it and 55-thousand die from it each year. By definition, it means your heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support all your other organs. Now, a simple breath test could make it easier and faster for doctors to diagnose.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.