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Stethoscope makes early diagnosis of pneumonia

Stethoscope makes early diagnosis of pneumonia

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A team of Australian students created the StethoCloud, a medical device that can save the lives of millions of children in the developing world.

Pneumonia kills more than seven million children under the age of 5 every year. And many of those deaths could be avoided if the infection was diagnosed early enough.

To improve early detection, a team of students from the University of Melbourne created the StethoCloud.

The StethoCloud is a stethoscope with a tiny microphone embedded into it that records breathing and then sends the information to a mobile phone app for analysis.

GOOD reports:

"The mic captures the sounds of the person breathing and the app uploads the recording onto cloud servers. Then the app analyzes the breathing patterns, makes a diagnosis according to the standards of the World Health Organization--either the subject has pneumonia or doesn't--and then presents the user with the appropriate treatment plan."

And at a price of $20, the StethoCloud is 30 times cheaper than a normal digital stethoscope, which makes it more affordable for use in the developing world.

The team who invented StethoCloud won Microsoft Australia's national Imagine Cup, a technology competition for students.

The students have sent prototypes of the system to hospitals and health centers in Malaysia, Ghana and Mozambique. "The team hopes to see some level of adoption within the next year in the countries that need it most, since early and accurate diagnosis for even 10 percent of the cases means 210,000 deaths prevented," GOOD reports.

College Students Design Stethoscope That Can Diagnose Pneumonia  [GOOD]

Photo via Imagine Cup

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Amy Kraft

Weekend Editor

Contributing Editor Amy Kraft is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for New Scientist and DNAinfo and has produced podcasts for Scientific American's 60-Second-Science. She holds degrees from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure