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Pitt, UPMC researchers develop app to help doctors diagnose ear infections WPXI [Video]

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PITTSBURGH — Researchers at Pitt and UPMC developed an app to help doctors more accurately diagnose ear infections.

The app uses artificial intelligence to make a diagnosis by assessing a video of the eardrum. The video is captured by an otoscope connected to a smartphone camera.

The hope is to prevent overdiagnosing to decrease unnecessary antibiotic use in young children.

“Acute otitis media is often incorrectly diagnosed,” said senior author Alejandro Hoberman, M.D., professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics at Pitt’s School of Medicine and president of UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics. “Underdiagnosis results in inadequate care and overdiagnosis results in unnecessary antibiotic treatment, which can compromise the effectiveness of currently available antibiotics. Our tool helps get the correct diagnosis and guide the right treatment.”

Overuse of antibiotics can hurt the effectiveness of the drugs that are currently available.

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