News / Health

Mobile Phone App Could Help Detect Down Syndrome

Phone App Could Help Detect Down Syndromei
X
George Putic
April 24, 2014 1:44 PM
Scientists are developing a smartphone app they say can accurately detect Down syndrome in infants soon after birth. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Phone App Could Help Detect Down Syndrome

George Putic
Scientists are developing a smartphone app that they say can accurately detect Down syndrome in infants soon after birth.

Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects about 1-in-1,000 children worldwide, causes physical and intellectual disabilities. Early detection is beneficial to the development of children with the disorder, but that requires sophisticated medical tests not available everywhere.

In developed countries, Down syndrome is often detected during prenatal screenings. But in less-developed countries, these tests are often not available.

Marius Linguraru, a principal investigator at Washington’s Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, said genetic defects can be hard to diagnose after a baby is born.

“In obvious cases, we can just tell by looking at the newborn. But, in subtle cases, this is very difficult, even for a geneticist or experienced dysmorphologist,” Linguraru said.

To help diagnose these cases, researchers at the institute have developed a computer program that detects Down syndrome immediately after birth.

Linguraru says the technology is extremely easy to use. “You take your phone, take a snapshot and the technology … will give us a score of, let’s call it severity, of the child having the syndrome or not.”

The software analyzes the uploaded photo, comparing certain areas of the baby’s face with thousands of stored photos, even taking into account the ethnic background.

Linguraru said the technology has an accuracy rate of about 97 percent, which is about as good as having an experienced dysmorphologist in the delivery room.

Scientists are still testing the technology and are working on a version that will allow direct access to the database from a smartphone, so any pediatrician, nurse or midwife could take a picture and get instant results.

Linguraru also said that using the new software could dramatically reduce the number of children genetically tested for Down syndrome -- two-thirds of whom end up not having the condition -- lowering the emotional stress for parents and costs to the health care system.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid