Australian scientists have developed a smartphone app that can detect whether you’ve been infected with covid.
All you have to do is cough at your phone!
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The ResApp which uses machine learning to analyse the sounds of your cough, was found to accurately detect the virus in 92% of people during testing.
Big Pharma companies have already shown a huge interest in the app and covid vaccine maker Pfizer has already offered to acquire it for $100 million AUD ($75 million USD)
The Mail Online reports: ‘The sheer scale of this global pandemic and the likely evolution to an endemic disease means we need more scalable diagnostic tools that can balance our current over-reliance on rapid antigen and PCR tests,’ said Professor Catherine Bennett, a member of ResApp’s Covid-19 Scientific Advisory Board.
‘By rapidly ruling out Covid-19, ResApp’s COVID-19 test would significantly reduce the number of rapid antigen and PCR tests required, while still maintaining the disease surveillance needed to manage the continued impact of Covid-19.’
ResApp uses machine learning to detect key signatures in coughs.
To test it, the developer enrolled 741 patients in the US and India, including 446 with Covid-19.
The participants completed surveys on any symptoms they were experiencing, and coughed into a smartphone with the app installed.
The results revealed that the app was able to correctly detect Covid-19 in 92 per cent of people with the infection.
For comparison, lateral flow tests can detect around 72 per cent of symptomatic cases and 58 per cent of asymptomatic ones.
In follow-up tests, the researchers tested whether the app is specific to Covid-19 by testing it with coughs from 1,007 patients with other respiratory conditions, including asthma, pneumonia and respiratory tract infections.
The results revealed that the app could accurately detect Covid-19 with 90 per cent specificity.
The developers say the app will initially be used in settings where frequent Covid-19 testing is required.
This includes in travel, sports, entertainment, and healthcare settings.
Professor Bennett said: ‘The simplicity, ease of use and unlimited scalability of ResApp’s test will be welcomed by public health officials around the world.’
Having a smartphone app to detect Covid-19 could prove extremely useful with Covid-19 tests now no longer free in the UK.
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