Cough tracking is a diagnostic tool that may help quantify a symptom that often requires guesswork on the part of the clinician and patient. Here is the lesson about the value of a cough tracker we learned from a pandemic movie.
Cough Tracking Lesson From Pandemic Movie
There’s a brief scene from Pandemic: How to prevent an outbreak on Netflix that repeats itself millions of times every day across the world.
Doctor: “How much less is your coughing than before?”
Patient *blank stare* then: “I only cough at night.”
The doctor can’t do much with this answer, so he answers for her, using confirmation bias.
Watch the clip here.
This scene is so relevant because this is how healthcare professionals make many clinical decisions everywhere. They base their decisions on a (supposed) improvement in cough, but the clinician doesn’t know if the patient’s cough has improved or not.
This shouldn’t be the case, Right?. In modern healthcare, clinicians measure everything (pulse, oxygen, respiration). But one of the main factors driving the clinician’s decision-making, a cough, is unmeasured. When a clinician can’t measure, they guess.
Unlike weight, temperature, blood pressure, or pulse, a cough is poorly and infrequently measured. Not because it is unimportant, quite the contrary, but because it is difficult to measure.
Additionally, patients can’t always correctly convey cough details. That’s why a cough worse at night is one of the most common complaints a doctor hears.
If a diagnostic tool can take the guesswork out of a clinical assessment, then healthcare workers can accurately diagnose and treat conditions sooner.
Hyfe App cough tracker is the solution. What’s more, it’s widely available because it uses smartphone technology for cough tracking. Patients can download the app and use it for as long as needed to monitor their cough. They won’t need to tell their doctor they only cough at night. The data will speak for itself.
Hyfe puts objective, quantified, clinical data in the hands of users and practitioners. Just as one who is concerned about their cardiovascular health might monitor their weight and blood pressure, someone concerned about their pulmonary health can use cough tracking to monitor how their cough changes.
For example, is my cough getting better or worse? Or do I only cough at night? It also enables users to identify seasonal or location-specific patterns and triggers, such as allergies, pollution, or cooking. In the long run, cough tracking can help patients manage their condition as well.
Besides cough tracking, Hyfe curates sound data through research partnerships to take cough classification to the next level. Accurate cough classification will be revolutionary. It can address inequities in access to care while improving diagnostics reliably and affordably for anyone with access to a smartphone.
Hyfe App is currently in use and proving itself as part of a clinical study in Uganda. Additionally, there are several upcoming studies in the pipeline.
If there’s one thing we take away from the pandemic movie, it’s that a reliable cough tracker as a diagnostic tool will be priceless. We have the technology to use smartphones as a diagnostic tool. But lack of awareness is holding cough tracking back. Next, read this article about acoustic syndromic surveillance to learn more about the impact of a cough tracker in a real-world situation.