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Infographic: Two New Smartphone Health Solutions

Analysis  |  By Marie DeFreitas  
   March 28, 2024

These two new smartphone apps may have a big impact on pediatric care.

New tech, including AI, has sailed its way from the conception phase, to implementation. So far this year two new smartphone apps are paving the way for small scale solutions that can have a big impact. 

The first comes from the University of Pittsburgh where clinicians have developed an AI algorithm that can identify acute otitis media (AOM), one of the most common childhood infections. 

Roughly 70% of children develop an ear infection before their first birthday. These infections are difficult to spot and distinguish from other types of infections that do not require antibiotics. But with this new smartphone AI tool, clinicians can more easily analyze a patient’s eardrum through an otoscope connected to a camera. The tool proved to have a 93% success rate at identifying AOM, versus expert physicians success rate at around 30% - 48%. 

With implementation of this new tool, clinicians will no longer have to struggle to look in the ear of a wiggly infant to determine if they have an ear infection. 

The second is an app developed by Intermountain Health that would help detect jaundice in newborns. Approximately three out of every five babies in the US develop jaundice within days after birth, which could lead to serious health concerns if not treated.

Intermountain Health partnered with a Norwegian digital health company called Picterus AS to create the app that uses a smartphone camera and a laminated card to measure bilirubin levels in newborns, allowing for a diagnosis without returning to the hospital for a blood test. 

This new tech would allow parents to test their babies at home and alert care teams if jaundice is detected. 

Marie DeFreitas is the finance editor for HealthLeaders.

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