Cough into your iPhone… and new app gives you a diagnosis

227 cough app.jpgIt’s not long since we looked at apps that can improve your mental health – Sleep Better and Conquer Insomnia – for example. Well it looks like they’re inventing apps to improve your physical health too – or diagnose it anyway.

Working on the same principles as popular music recognition app Shazaam, this new app listens to you coughing and then works out what’s wrong with you.

American and Australian scientists are working on coding it to recognise different types of cough: Whether a cough is dry or wet, or “productive” or “non-productive” (referring to the presence of mucus on the lungs), can give a doctor information about what is causing that cough, for example whether it is caused by a bacterial or a viral infection.

Once the cough’s sound has been analysed, the app would match it up with a database of 1000 coughs of people of different ages with different conditions.
Suzanne Smith of STAR Analytical Services, the firm behind the research, says: “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.”
The as yet un-named app could be helpful in the diagnosis of swine flu and also in the developing world where it could be used to determine whether children have conditions like pneumonia.

One thing – this might mean people finally start getting using anti-bacterial wipes on their iPhones… fingerprints are one thing, the spittle of every coughy person in the office is another.

[via The Telegraph]

Related: Sleep Better and Conquer Insomnia: the iPhone app that helps you go to sleep

Anna Leach


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