America’s Top Young Scientist’s Headphones Detect and Treat Ear Infections

At only 14 years old, Leanne Fan has been named America’s Top Young Scientist for an innovation that at first sounds too good to be true: a pair of headphones that detect and treat ear infections. The San Diego teen was named the 2022 winner of the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for creating Finsen Headphones, an antibiotic free, low-cost option to detect and treat mid-ear infections using machine learning and blue light therapy.

In addition to earning the title of America’s Top Young Scientist, Leanne was awarded $25,000—which she plans to use to conduct further research and begin the patent process. Listen in as we chat with Leanne about her inspiration behind the headphones, how they work, and what she plans to do next.

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