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!
No, this is not satire….
The ResApp which uses machine learning to analyze 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 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.