Smartphone attachment offers cheap ear infection diagnosis

smartphone attachment offers cheap ear infection diagnosis otoscope

If you’re a parent, you’ve likely had to deal with your offspring developing an ear infection at one point or another. It starts with the kid complaining of ear pain, maybe dizziness, maybe gross discharge, and usually ends with a trained medical professional jamming a pointy light into your child’s ear, examining the aural canal for a few moments, then dictating which brand of drops you’ll spend the next week pouring into your son or daughter’s squirming, complaining head. Every parent goes through it at some point, and the experience is no fun for anyone involved.

Fortunately, a mobile microscope company known as CellScope has created a smartphone attachment that takes the hassle out of the entire process by allowing parents to perform the most complicated part of the diagnosis procedure at home. The peripheral essentially adds an otoscope to your smartphone’s camera, turning your device into a makeshift medical instrument that can be used to capture images from within your child’s ear canal. From there it’s a simple matter of sending the imagery off to your doctor who can quickly diagnose the problem based on the pictures you’ve captured.

Doctors quoted by CellScope claim to appreciate that the device allows for the creation of a high-definition image-based record of a child’s ailments that can easily be added to his or her ongoing medical record, while insurance companies appreciate the otoscope as it saves them from having to shell out cash for parents needlessly rushing their kids to the ER at the first sign of an ear ache.

Though CellScope originally grew out of the microscopy lab at the University of California Berkeley with the goal of creating cheap 60x microscopes that could be used in impoverished parts of the world by both volunteer aid workers and the indigenous population, this latest gadget is being designed with the consumer space in mind. As VentureBeat points out, CellScope believes that its smartphone otoscope could “save around 30 million pediatric doctor appointments each year that result from ear infections and ear aches” — a figure that, combined with the ubiquity of modern smartphones, could make this otoscope a must-have household item for anyone with kids.

CellScope has announced that it managed to raise $1 million in seed funding from Khosla Ventures to build the otoscope, and the firm is currently testing prototypes of the device in California. So far there is no word on when the otoscope will be available to the public, but barring major catastrophe it shouldn’t be too far off.

Emerging Tech

China says it has developed a quantum radar that can see stealth aircraft

Chinese defense giant China Electronics Technology Group Corporation claims that it has developed a quantum radar that's able to detect even the stealthiest of stealth aircraft. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best tech gear and gadgetry that survived Shark Tank

The television show "Shark Tank" has churned out quite a few strange, interesting, and downright awesome products -- so we rounded up some of the best ones for your perusal. Enjoy!
Home Theater

Learn how to calibrate your home theater speakers for sheer audio bliss

Make your home theater rumble just right with our manual speaker setup guide, a simple, step-by-step walkthrough to getting the most from your audio equipment without needing to rely on imperfect automatic calibration.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Emerging Tech

Glass orb packs all the constellations in the night sky into fancy desk ornament

Ever wanted to know more about the star constellations? A stunning new Kickstarter campaign, taking the form of a fancy desk ornament that re-creates the night sky in a glass orb, aims to help.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX makes rocketry look easy, sticks yet another Falcon 9 landing

SpaceX is due to perform its latest Falcon 9 rocket launch and landing on November 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Here's how you can watch the proceedings live.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

In a weighty decision, scientists prepare to redefine the kilogram

Metrologists are meeting at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram as a constant that can be observed in the natural world.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Emerging Tech

Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. From more than 12 miles up, these balloons beam connectivity over a large area on the ground.
Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

Not surprisingly, SpaceX is thinking big with Starlink, its space-based global broadband network. This week, the company received FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites into a low-Earth orbit for its satellite internet service.