Brain-poking nasal swabs may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a team of scientists that have trained AI to recognize COVID by listening to coughs.
The most reliable way to detect the coronavirus is by using an invasive, eye-watering nasal swab test. Scientists have found that artificial intelligence can detect the virus simply by listening to an individual’s cough.
According to the University of Essex, the researchers used 8,380 clinically-validated samples from Spain and Mexico — including both positive and negative results — to test the DeepCough3D screening tool. The AI was found to be 98% accurate in identifying both positive and negative samples.
Most importantly, DeepCough3D was effective at recognizing both symptomatic and asymptomatic coughs. The algorithm could even detect different levels of infection, allowing the researchers to categorize the coughs into three levels of severity.
”We are delighted with the promising results of this novel screening tool, which could prove a real game-changer and essential addition to our arsenal of tools to combat the pandemic as it is far less invasive than most other COVID-19 tests and also offers rapid results, paving the way to point-of-need pre-screening testing solutions,” said lead researcher Dr Javier Andreu-Perez, of the Smart Health Technologies Group at the Centre for Computational Intelligence.
The researchers will look for health collaborations to test the AI in the field, as well as begin pursuing the necessary certifications to make it available for wider release.