Doctors' phones to record coughs and diagnose?

By Brian Dolan
09:14 am

Health workers know the difference between a wet cough and a dry cough; between a productive or non-productive; and between a voluntary and involuntary cough. If one Bedford, MA-based start-up, STAR Analytical Services succeeds, soon health workers will be able to use their smartphones to diagnose patients by recording and automatically analyzing their coughs instead.

STAR Analytical Services's Suzanne Smith: "Why haven't we been measuring coughs? It’s the most common symptom when a patient presents, and we are relying on doctors and nurses with good old technology from the 19th century," Smith told Discovery News in a recent interview.

STAR's software would record a patient's cough and compare it to a database of pre-recorded coughs that include the sounds of respiratory diseases from people of both sexes, and various ages, weights, etc. The database only has several dozen patients' coughs on record right now, but they estimate they will need about 1,000 before the software becomes reliable.

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While the application currently runs on a computer, STAR anticipates that it will be able to create a smartphone application, too. The company created the system with a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more, see the Discovery News article here


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