A group of local researchers developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) programme to detect and identify a COVID-19 infection through the sound of a person’s cough.
That sounds pretty cool!
Photo via Best Life
According to the New Straits Times, the programme, which is currently in the testing stage of recording and storing cough data samples, is expected to be available in June next year.
The method is reported to have a 90% accuracy and will also detect asymptomatic cases.
Users will only have to record the audio of their coughs on mobile devices, before submitting the clip to the programme’s website for analysis. The results can be obtained within five to 10 minutes.
The programme is developed by a group of researchers from the Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) under the Health Ministry and artificial intelligence (AI) experts from the Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.
Lead researcher William Law Kian Boon said, based on overseas research, asymptomatic cases still experience changes in cough sounds as COVID-19 is an upper respiratory tract infection.
Other ICR researchers involved in the project are its director, Dr. Kalaiarasu Peariasamy, Law, Dr. Mohd Aizuddin Abdul Rahman, Dr. Mohan Dass Pathmanathan, Dr. Kuan Pei Xuan, Dr. Wong Xin Xi, Lauren Ooi Li Ting as well as Prof. Patrick Then, director of the Centre for Digital Futures Swinburne Sarawak.
“The changes in cough sounds are difficult to detect through hearing tools or traditional methods, but they can be distinguished by a machine learning algorithm, which is part of the AI.
“To detect asymptomatic cases, we record cough sounds from COVID-19 patients and healthy persons then train the algorithm to make a comparison,” said Law.
Photo via MIT News
Data variation could improve the performances of algorithms in COVID-19 screenings even though every person had a different cough sound and that it could also be affected by various factors.
The research team is currently recruiting volunteers for audio samples and targeting to collect 2,400 samples at the COVId-19 Assessment Centre around Kuala Lumpur soon.
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat