MIT Algorithm Detects COVID-19 in the Sound of Your Cough – Futurism

Posted: November 7, 2020 at 9:02 pm

A new MIT algorithm is capable of determining, with impressive accuracy, whether or not people have COVID-19 just by listening to them cough.

The algorithm, which the researchers trainedusing the sound of tens of thousands of coughs recorded over the course of the pandemic, has a 98.5 percent success rate among patients who were already diagnosed with COVID-19, BBC News reports. If they didnt have any other symptoms aside from that cough, the success rate climbed to 100 percent.

It shouldnt replace a proper lab test, the BBC suggests, but it could serve as a point-of-contact test before meeting a group or attending an event.

Other teams of scientists have tried to diagnose the coronavirus for just about as long as the pandemic has been raging. In March, Carnegie Mellon University scientists built a COVID Voice Detector app that scanned for signs of COVID-19 in the sounds of people coughing and reciting the alphabet. The healthcare developer Sonde built an app called Sonde One in July that only asked users to say ahhh before reporting whether they seemed to have coronavirus-like symptoms.

But the MIT teams algorithm described in research published in the IEEE Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology appears to offer a vastly more accurate result.

Theres nothing special about the algorithm the MIT scientists just got their hands on loads and loads of training data with which to refine it. Months ago, the BBC reports, the algorithm had a comparable success rate to those other apps, so it was just a matter of making the model more robust.

Its the same principle as feeding a machine a lot of X-rays so it learns to detect cancer, former BBC reporter Calum Chace, now an AI expert and author, told the BBC. Its an example of AI being helpful. And, for once, I dont see a lot of downside in this.

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MIT Algorithm Detects COVID-19 in the Sound of Your Cough - Futurism

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