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Having a way to monitor and track your cough accurately is essential to help doctors with their diagnosis, even more so when Covid-19 has caused a global pandemic. It can be a challenge with all the ambient coughs around us. Let’s find out why tracking ambient coughs are so important. 

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What Are Ambient Coughs? 

The coughs that come from other people, i.e., not the app user, are considered ambient coughs. As people go out into public places and carry out their daily activities, ambient noises can interfere with regular app programs. ambient coughs include real authentic coughs and the fake ones coming from other people around the app user.

Distinguishing Between Coughs

Coughing might be a commonly known symptom, whether it is for getting rid of foreign irritants or clearing your throat of mucus. Most people don’t pay a lot of attention to this, but all coughs have different meanings

Dry Cough

It is a cough that doesn’t bring up any fluid such as phlegm and mucus from your throat. Dry coughs sometimes give you a tickling sensation in the back of your throat and are usually caused by upper respiratory infections like the flu or a cold

Wet Cough

These are the ones that often bring up mucus and are also caused by having the flu, a cold, asthma, acute bronchitis, or pneumonia. They can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, runny nose, and postnasal drip. 

Having a wet cough means you will be feeling the sensation as if something is dripping or stuck in your chest or at the back of your throat. 

Paroxysmal Cough

Sporadic attacks of uncontrollable and violent coughing fits are called paroxysmal. This type of cough is rather exhausting and unpleasant. The patient will be struggling to catch their breath and can even vomit.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a respiratory infection that triggers violent coughing. During the cough attack, the lungs are forced to release all the air inside them, causing the patient to inhale violently while making a “whoop” sound. 

Croup Cough

Not your typical cough, croup cough is a viral infection and only happens to children aged five or younger.

Croup coughs cause the upper airways to swell and become irritated. As young children typically have undeveloped and narrow airways, they become even smaller when it swells up, which makes it hard to breathe. 

GERD Cough

It occurs when some of your stomach acids come up the esophagus. This disorder can occur rarely or persistently, depending on the seriousness of the disease. The acid in the esophagus can cause heartburn and other symptoms, as well as potential tissue damage.

Why Is Tracking Ambient Coughs Important?

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While a surgeon or a doctor’s image may be the first thing coming to mind when you think about the healthcare industry, an enormous amount of it is also happening behind the scenes. For instance, data and information are just as important as doctors, surgeons, or other medical workers. 

In the medical field, accurate information helps doctors to get a more precise diagnosis of their patients. Additionally, it can also be a lot more efficient and productive. Relying exclusively on requesting tests on their patients can make healthcare a long process. By contrast, doctors can benefit tremendously from information collected upfront. 

The value of ambient cough: many initiatives and projects try to collect real-world coughs to train AI. However, most of these are recording “elicited” coughs. In other words, you can go to a website and download an app, press record, and “fake” a cough.

Therefore, it makes it challenging for the AI to learn which cough is authentic and which ones are fakes. However, there is an enormous difference between such a real and an elicited cough, which medical professionals can use to develop their AI. 

Although coughing is a common symptom for various diseases, using a tool to identify the type of cough can help a doctor properly diagnose his patient in a shorter time. The duration, the frequency, the trend, all of it can help doctors with their work and help the patient to have better treatment. That’s why keeping track of the ambient coughs is essential, especially during this time of the pandemic. 

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