MIT’s AI model detects asymptomatic patients via phone-recorded coughs


Team Udayavani, Oct 30, 2020, 3:03 PM IST

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) model that can detect asymptomatic COVID-19 patients through forced-cough recordings submitted through mobile phones and laptops.

It is currently working on incorporating the model into a user-friendly app which could be used as a convenient, non-invasive pre-screening tool, if approved by the FDA.

In a paper published in the IEEE Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology, the team claimed that it collected more than 70,000 recordings amounting to some 200,000 forced-cough audio samples. (Around 2,500 recordings were submitted by people who were confirmed to have COVID-19, including those who were asymptomatic.)

As reported by Venturebeat, after combining the model trained on the audiobook snippets, the emotional state detector, and the cough classifier into one, the team tested the ensemble on 1,000 recordings from the cough dataset. They claim it managed to identify 98.5% of coughs from people confirmed with COVID-19 and accurately detect all of the asymptomatic coughs.

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