Coughvid app uses AI to detect Covid-19

Researchers at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) are developing an app that uses artificial intelligence to listen to your cough and identify if you have Covid-19.

This content was published on July 20, 2020 - 11:01

The idea of the "Coughvid" app is simple. You are worried you may have the virus and you want to check before contacting a doctor. Using the app, you make a recording of your cough at home, then submit it online after answering a few basic health questions. Algorithms created by the EPFL researchers automatically analyse the data and sound of your cough and look out for distinctive patterns to determine instantly whether you have a typical dry, persistent “Covid cough”.

The idea originated from an EPFL Masters student who read that a distinctive dry cough was a sign of infection found in 67.7% of patients, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“If you listen closely, you can hear that there is a clear chirp in the Covid cough which is recognizable,” explains EPFL scientist Tomas Teijeiro who works on the Coughvid app.

The aim of the app is to reduce the number of people going to doctors demanding for a test when they don’t exhibit the symptoms.

Additional work is needed before the app is properly available to the general public.

The team have collected over 19,000 cough recordings but they still need more samples for testing purposes. They have meanwhile been working with Swiss doctors to validate a subset of the recordings and intend to do a clinical validation before the public release.

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