(Photo : Pexels/Pixabay) Coughing app

Editor's Note: We've learned that Hyfe has been available on both iOS and Android. You can download it for free from Google PlayStore. To learn more, visit 

Hyfe Inc., a Delaware-based company, is reportedly developing an app to diagnose patients with a disease or condition by listening to their cough.

Hyfe Inc. is Developing a Health App

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company's scientists are recording millions of types of coughs using several apps. They are currently training an artificial intelligence or AI to identify what is causing the patient to have the symptom.

The scientists are hopeful that the app can help determine if someone is ill. The app is said to detect if a patient has pneumonia, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COVID-19. It is also said that it can detect how severely ill a person is.

A cough occurs when something irritates the airways, and it stimulates the nerves. It then sends a message to the brain to get rid of the irritation by letting it out.

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The brain sends a signal to the muscles in the chest and abdomen to use the air from the lungs to expel the irritant.

The chief medical officer of Hyfe Inc., Dr. Peter Small, told The Wall Street Journal that different diseases have different cough sounds.

For example, someone with asthma will wheeze, while someone with pneumonia will have crackling sounds coming from their lungs.

Dr. Small explained that AI could pick up the patterns in the cough. This is something that humans cannot detect just by listening. He also stated that when a patient goes to the doctor, they can't know everything about the patient's cough in just one visit.

Researchers stated that an app would be faster than visiting a doctor because it could screen dozens of patients in one day. Also, it is cheaper because there is no fee compared to visiting healthcare professionals.

Hyfe is currently conducting a study in Spain that lets the app record sounds while running it on the phone all day.

The researchers found that there are instances wherein a person can start having a coughing fit without realizing that they are ill.

The cough test apps will not be released to the public yet. This is because the AI is still being trained. Also, companies will have to address privacy concerns because data sharing will be a major part of it.

AI in Healthcare

According to Forbes, several companies are now using AI to help in diagnosing and treating patients. A study done by Stanford University tested an AI algorithm that detects skin cancers, and it performed really well.

Meanwhile, a Danish AI software company tested a program that listens to phone calls that medical dispatchers take.

The algorithm will analyze what someone says, and the tone of voice and background noise will detect whether the caller is suffering a cardiac arrest. The AI has a 93% success rate.

Baidu Research is currently testing an algorithm added to an AI that identifies breast cancer metastasis in patients.

In 2018, then Prime minister Theresa May said that AI would help the National Health Service or the NHS predict the early stage of cancer. This is to prevent cancer-related deaths by 2033. It will examine medical records, genetic information, habits, and more.

In July, a health app that uses AI was launched. It can detect early signs of cognitive impairment.

Related Article: Top 10 AI Healthcare Startups For 2021

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Written by Sophie Webster

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