Doctors are Working on an App That Can Diagnose Illness Based on the Sound of a Cough

Everyone needs this.

sick kid
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Knowing exactly what's wrong with your child when they're sick is a bit of a challenge, especially when they're too young to communicate their symptoms—I mean, your infant can't even speak yet, how are they supposed to tell you they think they might have bronchitis?!

Luckily, doctors are working on a new smartphone app that analyzes children's sick coughs, so you don't have to play any more guessing games about what they're feeling—or what their diagnosis is.

Dr. Paul Porter and Associate Professor Udantha Abeyratne, researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia, put together a database of 1,437 cough recordings from 585 children aged 29 days to 12 years old for the application. So far, the app can recognize pneumonia, asthma, bronchiolitis, croup, and general lower respiratory tract disease with accuracy ranging from 81 to 97 percent in a child's cough.

"It can be difficult to differentiate between respiratory disorders in children, even for experienced doctors," Porter said to . "This study demonstrates how new technology, mathematical concepts, machine learning and clinical medicine can be successfully combined to produce completely new diagnostic tests."

The technology used in the app is similar to speech recognition systems, and the researchers involved have big dreams for their new app. They're creating it with the hope that this revolutionary medical app will help parents who live in more remote areas that lack nearby medical facilities, and even doctors who are remotely consulting their patients.

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