Girl wearing mask coughing while holding her phone | Feature | How Cough Trackers Could Help Detect The Next Pandemic

Researchers, scientists, and medical workers have been working around the clock to find new ways to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Cough trackers are a crucial tool during this time as they can help detect the next pandemic. Find out how cough trackers detect pandemic signs and why you should get one. 

RELATED: How To Keep A Health Journal To Track Your Cough

Cough Trackers Detect Pandemic Signs and Can save Many Lives 

Overview

Medical professional wearing a protective suit while holding a vial - Overview - How Cough Trackers Could Help Detect The Next Pandemic

Epidemiologists in the Florida Department of Health have been reviewing and monitoring patients’ symptoms coming into the emergency department, a very arduous and essential job. The main goal of this is to detect right away if there is an abnormal spike in symptoms in an area in which there might potentially be a public health concern.

Epidemiologist Joe Brew has been working there since 2013. Due to his experience there, Brew says this method of detecting potential public health concerns has failed to contain outbreaks. Specifically, it could not prevent the transmission of the (then) unknown disease, COVID-19, in late 2019. The doctors later identified the disease. This milestone occurred only when many patients went to the hospital with the same respiratory infection with an unknown cause. Brew highlights a fatal flaw of the system: there is only typically a diagnosis several days after infection.

Also, COVID-19 tests failed fundamentally. Specifically, their time to results is comparable or higher than the amount of time infected patients can infect others. Realizing this, Brew came up with a solution. He aimed at providing public health authorities with real-time symptomatic data from the community through a commonplace piece of technology. One that everyone has in their pockets – the smartphone.

Brew and several of his colleagues worked together and founded Hyfe, a free app for mobile devices. Hyfe uses AI or Artificial intelligence to detect and keep track of the user’s cough. It identifies the main symptoms of various respiratory conditions, such as GERD coughs, colds, and even COVID-19. That’s why the idea of having a cough tracker to detect a pandemic can be very intriguing.  

Hyfe – the New AI Cough Tracking Method

Hyfe applies the modern technology of AI to an app that allows users to keep track of their health. To put it simply, it’s a cough tracker. A simple yet, useful invention, especially during a time where detecting potential COVID-19 patients is crucial. 

This cough tracker detects pandemic signs by using the microphone on your smartphone. The app listens when you cough; it will record an abrupt, loud noise and capture it in about half-second snippets. An algorithm can then convert it into a 3D image called a spectrogram.

The spectrogram represents the intensity and pitch of the sound over time. Then machine learning algorithms process it with a massive database of different sounds, from coughs and laughs to burps.

How Cough Trackers Detect Pandemic

Doctor looking at his phone - How Cough Trackers Detect Pandemic - How Cough Trackers Could Help Detect The Next Pandemic

The Missed Opportunity

Methods for recording and monitoring coughing were always limited to self-reporting by patients. They had to manually record when they coughed and, therefore, tended to underreport related information, such as how many times or how long they coughed. This led epidemiologists like Brew to notice this untapped potential in utilizing cough data.

With the help of AI cough tracking tools, people can passively monitor their cough without doing anything manually. The app will automatically count the number of times you cough, the cough sequence, and the patterns. This will play a very big role in helping medical professionals to have the precise information to give a better and more accurate diagnosis then.

The AI Cough Tracker That Detects Pandemics with Ease

Record more accurately – For instance, instead of having a patient constantly counting the times they cough, which will be wildly inaccurate, the Hyfe app can do all the work. 

Information can be sent directly to medical staff – All the recorded information will be stored on the user’s phone, which can be sent to doctors to use the next time you go to the hospital or the clinic. 

People can avoid hospitals and limit contact with others – Having data sent to medical staff by email means the patient does not need to visit in person, and appointments can be made remotely, limiting the spread of contagious diseases.

Better diagnosis – Especially during this pandemic time, it has proven to be extremely difficult to know your current health condition even when it’s the flu, the common cold, or a sore throat because they all have similar symptoms, like coughing. Hyfe App can quickly address this issue by providing a concise description of your coughing, which the app or medical staff can diagnose more accurately. 

Group patterns can be monitored – When medical staff are armed with data that can detect an outbreak of the disease, they can do more to fight an epidemic and pandemic.

Transmission is limited – An AI cough tracker detects pandemic patterns and is an innovative move during this time when the vaccine is still being tested, so it’s essential to find a way to stop people from transmitting the disease any further. 

About the Hyfe App

Hyfe uses artificial intelligence to identify coughs. It counts every cough and allows you to compare and track your coughing over time. This gives you objective insights into your coughing and can help you monitor your health in the context of pollution, asthma, or even COVID-19. Stay on top of your health by tracking your cough with Hyfe.

Have you tried the health tracking app? What was your experience? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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