Researchers offer a way to diagnose ear infections with an iPhone

iPhone /

Ear infections may no longer require a trip to the doctor’s office, thanks to new technology developed by researchers at Emory University.

Remotoscope, a clip-on attachment and app for iPhones, enables parents  to check their children’s ears for possible infection. The app takes a picture or video of the eardrum and sends it to a doctor for review. The tool could potentially save both families and healthcare providers money.

According to Emory researchers, ear infections affect 75 percent of children by age 6 and account for 15 million yearly doctor visits. Ear infections are also a common cause for unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions. Researchers said doctors could determine the differences between bacterial and viral infections more easily if they were able to see in-ear images over the course of several days, in turn improving care.

Studies are underway to see if Remotoscope matches the diagnostic capabilities of a traditional otoscope (the device doctors use to check ears), and, while the device is not on the market, researchers hope to commercialize it.

Medical researchers have looked to the iPhone to improve care in the past. An early 2012 study by Float Mobile Learning found 40 percent of doctors believed using mobile health technologies that monitor fitness and eating habits could help reduce office visits.

None of this technology works with a broken iPhone, but you can use iResQ’s iPhone repair services to keep your device running smoothly for any health monitoring needs.

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