Can it be diagnosed by coughing?

A year and a half ago, in March of last year, the word COVID-19 was beginning to resonate very, very loudly in our lives. Although we still did not know the extent that it would have, everything began to look very bad, but most did not imagine that a year and a half later, still we would still have to adapt our lives to a pathogen which has completely rewritten the way we relate to our environment.

Along with the formidable effort to combat COVID-19, in parallel a race has also developed to create diagnostic systems, that allow identifying the people who have been infected, in order to apply the appropriate security protocols for each case. And, as with many other diseases, an early diagnosis can make a big difference when it comes to treating it, trying to address its effects in the best possible way.

In this year and a half we have experienced the arrival of PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and antigen tests, the first to check if that person is suffering from COVID-19 at that time, and the second to try to detect a certain type protein found on the surface of the coronavirus. Both types of tests have been quite effective, which is why the vast majority of the world has adopted them for their control systems.

Now, and although as vaccination progresses it may seem that the means of diagnosis are less necessary, this is a huge mistake. First because the rate of vaccination against COVID-19 is not homogeneous around the world. Quite the contrary, while in some western countries tremendously high percentages have been reached, in other latitudes we find examples of the opposite, with vaccination rates that do not even reach 10% of the population.

In addition, and although the vaccine substantially reduces the risk of suffering the worst symptoms of COVID-19, there are some groups for which, even when vaccinated, the disease poses a great risk. Therefore, it is still necessary to carefully control the spread and contacts, to limit the presence of the pathogen as much as possible. Thus, the means of diagnosis remain key in certain contexts.

That is why a project about which Phonearena information, and what do you intend cough sound analysis can be used to try to diagnose COVID-19. And, although for most people there are no great nuances, in reality there are elements in it that can be used to try to determine its cause. The key, of course, is to learn to identify them correctly, and to design systems that allow it to be automated.

That is the objective, precisely, of those responsible for said project, and for that purpose are feeding an AI with thousands of recordings of different types of cough, associated with various types of diseases. The objective, of course, is that over time that artificial intelligence will be able to distinguish between the types of cough, to identify when it may be due to COVID-19, tuberculosis and other diseases whose early identification makes a difference.

It is even more interesting, since the possibility that this technology could reach any smartphone would have a special impact in countries with fewer economic resources and, therefore, with greater difficulty in accessing current diagnostic tools. There is still a lot of work ahead for this project to become a reality, but it is undoubtedly quite encouraging, and it is to be hoped that the project will receive some kind of support to accelerate its development.


Source: MuyComputer by www.muycomputer.com.

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