Leanne Fan believes everyone deserves affordable healthcare. That is why, her low-cost device is the perfect solution for mid-year infections, especially in children.
At this year's 3M Young Scientist Challenge, 14-year-old Leanne Fan from San Diego, California bagged the grand winner prize for her low-cost headphone device to treat mid-ear infections. Her design is set to head towards patent and other big plans, after receiving $25,000 cash as a prize, as per reports from Good News Network
One of the best times of the year is the @3M Young Scientist Challenge. I am so very impressed with what these kids come up with every year - they are truly going to change the world! 🥼 https://t.co/US9K0iuyjH— Winnie Count Kwokula (@winniekwoksays) October 19, 2022
Her project was titled 'Finsen Headphones - Detecting and treating mid-year infections using machine learning and phototherapy.' Her unique device uses machine learning and blue light therapy to detect and treat mid-year infections in children and assists in preventing 60% of hearing loss in children. This device can prove to be revolutionary, since 700 million cases of mid-year infections are registered each year, and over 21,000 of these lead to deaths. Diagnosis, treatment and care in such cases are both extremely difficult and expensive. Because of this, the underprivileged populations are the worst affected. Leanne's initiative presents a low-cost, antibiotic-free course of treatment for such mid-year infections.
Leanne was working over the summer on this device. As a finalist in the challenge, she was assigned Dr. Ross Behling as the mentor for her project. Dr. Ross is a research specialist who worked one-to-one with Leanne over the summer, helping her transform her concept into a tangible and workable design for the final stage of the competition. The final days of the competition were in October, when nine finalists presented their final proposals at the 3M headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Leanne is an incoming high school freshman and plans on channelling her prize money toward the patent process for the headphones. Along with the cash prize of $25,000, she also received a special destination trip and the prestigious title of 'America’s Top Young Scientist'. The second and third prizes were won by Harini Venkatesh from Brentwood, New Hampshire, and Shanza Sami from Iowa City. Both of them received a $1000 cash prize and a special destination trip. Harini designed The Comptometrist, a cost-efficient solution to lessen the time needed to determine myopic power in a patient’s eyes. Shanza on the other hand received the third prize for her five-stage air pollution filtration device.
Leanne Fan, a 9th grader from San Diego, takes top prize at this year’s 3M Young Scientists Challenge (https://t.co/iUHmLcpwnD) for creating headphones that not only play music but also detect and treat ear infections. Way to go, Leanne! #STEM pic.twitter.com/4kuCXfwlU1— SciGirls (@SciGirls) November 7, 2022
In a YouTube video, we can see her explaining how the software she designed works. What's further cool about these headphones is that she had designed them to play sound as well. "This way you can listen to music while getting your treatment done with this low-cost device," says Leanne, explaining the various features of her headphone. She also expresses her vision and the need for such a device. "Leanne believes that everyone should have access to timely and safe healthcare facilities. "Everyone should have access to affordable health care, no matter who they are, where they're from or what their income level is. I believe that my headphones could be the perfect solution," says Leanne.
Cover Image Source: YouTube | D Fan