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The current research project dwells on the development of the technology that is expected to mitigate the adverse effects of certain ear ailments. One of these problems relates to the Eustachian tube and will be discussed within the framework of the introduction of this paper. The researchers will provide the reader with an extensive description of the disease and propose a technology that is going to help those in need.
The innovation that is proposed by the innovators revolves around specific software that will be used to determine the behavior of muscles that surround the Eustachian tube. The researchers believe that the implementation of this muscle re-educational stimulator is going to help patients with reduced hearing by means of stimulating lavatory and tensor muscles. The end result of the development will be highlighted by a specific app that will be used to keep track of the patient’s condition and send timely reminders. In turn, the received data will be stored on secure remote (cloud) servers so as to ensure safety and prevent the loss of any sensitive data.
The researchers expect to expose the global market to the use of this particular technology so that they can help every patient with hearing problems all around the world. A unique business strategy will be developed to market the product and accomplish a set of business objectives. Overall, the current research project can be evaluated as beneficial and should be looked upon as a perfect possibility to improve the current state of affairs in health care sector by means of analyzing, synthesizing, and implementing the most advanced information technologies known to humanity. The core objective of this project is to introduce patients to the new ways of coping with their Eustachian tube disorder and reducing computer illiteracy.
Introduction and Problem Statement
The problem of this research project consists in the fact that numerous people suffer from issues with their ears and this particular area of research significantly lacks in depth. This is why the researchers decided to investigate the issues that transpire during the process of the Eustachian tube treatment and come up with a method to mitigate the adverse consequences of this particular ailment. In order to realize “what” and “why” is proposed within the framework of this research project, one will have to get acquainted with the basic concepts related to the Eustachian tube and its functions first.
The Eustachian tube plays a very important role because it ventilates the space in the middle ear area in order to stabilize the pressure and make sure it does not fall below or go above the norm. Another way in which the Eustachian tube is useful to human organism is its “cleaning” function. It helps to drain the middle ear space from different infections, remains, or secretions (Dornhoffer, Leuwer, Schwager, & Wenzel, 2014).
The Eustachian tube is controlled (opened and closed) by a number of muscles that can be located in the back of the throat. Therefore, the functions of the Eustachian tube are regulated by these muscles throughout any specific activity such as yawning or swallowing (Adil & Poe, 2014). Without the Eustachian tube, the pressure inside the middle ear area would be unstable because there would only be a secluded air pocket inside the ear.
This would make our ears susceptible to each and every air pressure change and negatively affect the way in which middle ear works (Dornhoffer et al., 2014). The Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) can become one of the main reasons of worsened hearing. For the most part, it is a temporary problem because it usually transpires during a cold and lasts for 10-14 days. Nonetheless, there are several causes that are way more significant than a cold, and the dysfunction may last longer. In the majority of cases, a nasal spray and decongestants will be enough to get rid of muffled hearing. The Eustachian tube functions in a way that allows it to absorb the air that is “stored” in the middle ear (Dornhoffer et al., 2014).
Therefore, it is crucial to renew the air that gets into the middle ear once in a while. The key reason for yawning while renewing the air consists in the fact that the pressure that is created during this activity helps to ensure that eardrum trembles properly (Adil & Poe, 2014). If there is no vibration, there is no hearing.
Consequently, one may assume that the Eustachian tube is merely a small hose that is 1.5 – 2” long, but the dysfunctions of this small part of our organism may cause serious complications and influence the quality of life of any given individual in a matter of several days (Dornhoffer et al., 2014). If the Eustachian tube does not function properly, the patients with this dysfunction will not have the possibility to travel by plane (or will have to suffer during landing due to instantaneous changes in the air pressure). Another problem consists in the fact that the dysfunctional Eustachian tube does not allow you to dive in the water (Adil & Poe, 2014).
The nowadays technology is not able to resolve the issue with the dysfunctional Eustachian tube once and for all (or at least on a long-term scale). One of the most prevalent ways to solve this issue is the help of surgeons who perforate the tympanic membrane of the ETD patients with the intention of leveling the air pressure in the ear (Dornhoffer et al., 2014). This practice is also known as “tympanostomy.”
For the most part, it is performed to help children who suffer from the infections present in their middle ear. Even though these young patients recover without any problems, the issue with tympanostomy consists in the fact that it does not represent an eternal solution to the ETD problem (Adil & Poe, 2014). This can be explained by the fact that the immune system does not accept the modification and recovers from the perforation in about 6-7 months. The overall statistics claim that approximately 15% of the adult population suffer from hearing problems (Dornhoffer et al., 2014). Taking this into account, it is important to address the issue of developing an effective tool to ensure a long-term treatment effect as soon as possible.
After reviewing the market and conducting extensive research in the area of ETD treatment, the researchers decided to come up with a technological solution to the problem of dulled hearing. It is proposed to develop an application that will read and record the behavior of muscles located near the tube and store this information so as to share that information with the patient and give out prompts concerning the ETD.
The muscle stimulator proposed within the framework of this research is expected to help the patients because it will stimulate tensor and lavatory muscles (Adil & Poe, 2014). The developed app is expected to store the information in a remote database so that the patients could keep track of the necessary info and receive reminders regarding the ETD. One of the key concerns of the researchers is the validation of the patient data security and prevention of the data loss. The software that is proposed within the current paper is aimed at helping a number of parties related to the health care industry. First of all, the researchers expect to enlist the support of the Ministry of Health.
This is necessary to certify the development of the project and ensure that the outcomes of the novel treatment will be beneficial to all the parties involved (Adil & Poe, 2014). Second, it is important to implement the technology in a number of hospitals in order to test it and make necessary modifications on the fly. On a long-term scale, this step is expected to improve patient outcomes and help the nurses, and other healthcare providers make the best use of innovational information technologies within the healthcare environment (Adil & Poe, 2014).
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The researchers intend to measure the performance of the developed application and personalize the app as much as possible. Third, other health care staff should also have access to this technology. In perspective, this may help the researchers to develop similar applications for other ailments and not the ETD only (Adil & Poe, 2014). The proposed product will be properly tested before the implementation in order to identify critical drawbacks and eliminate them right away (if there will be any).
Adil, E., & Poe, D. (2014). What is the full range of medical and surgical treatments available for patients with Eustachian tube dysfunction? Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery, 22(1), 8-15. Web.
Dornhoffer, J. L., Leuwer, R., Schwager, K., & Wenzel, S. (2014). A practical guide to the eustachian tube. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. Web.