Friday, August 14, 2020

App claims it can detect COVID-19 symptoms by analyzing your voice

An app called Sonde One claims that it can identify if you have any COVID-19 symptoms just by analyzing your voice.

With companies resuming their work in the offices after a long gap, a few changes have occurred in the employees’ daily routine. In most of the companies, thermal checks and sanitizations have become a common sight, but some of them choose a unique way in which, along with the standard protocols, the employees are also asked to say “ahhh” into their phones. After a few seconds, an app called Sonde One will analyze their voice, compare it with their previously recorded versions, and give the results. If they sound sick, it will ask the employees to sit at home as there is a risk that they may be infected with COVID-19.

CEO of Sonde Health David Liu on a call with Futurism clearly emphasized that their app does not diagnose anyone with any disease but only searches for symptoms in an often overlooked biomarker: the voice.

Read Also: Big Pharma plans on profiting from COVID-19 vaccine, won’t sell at cost

Image: Sonde Health

“When there’s disease and symptoms occur, they do affect different parts of your body. To speak, that takes over 100 different parts of the body, the brain, muscles in the jaw, tongue, mouth, throat, all the way down to your lungs and heart — they all come together in concert in order to give your body the ability to speak. When your body is suffering from a symptom of a disease, you will notice — and it’s audible to the human ear — that something physiologically is affecting your ability to speak, your voice.” Liu told Futurism.

Even though its a relatively new way to test for COVID-19 symptoms, they are not the first people to try it. Earlier, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University released a similar project that analyzed users’ voices for signs of the respiratory illness. The app already has a few major companies as its clients.

“The voice analysis, what comes out of that is a score, a risk assessment: either high, medium, or low. And that’s respiratory symptom risk. When we work with employers, we provide them this data, and employers create a rubric. We don’t actually decide who stays home,” Liu clarified. 

“Currently, our machine learning model has been shown to have an accuracy of over 70 percent for detecting the presence of acoustic voice changes that occur in patients with a range of specific respiratory diseases including asthma and COPD,” Liu said in a follow-up email.

Read Also: Novel blood test helps to find positive COVID-19 cases in 20 minutes

“You’ll never hear us say that we will replace a nasal swab type of test. Those serve a certain need for diagnosis,” he said.

We hope this experiment becomes a huge success and help more companies to resume their offices as testing everyone with nasal swabs is almost proving to be impossible. As testing using an app is relatively very easy and quick than sticking a swab in every employee’s nose.

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