Scientists have developed a smartphone app that can detect whether you’ve been infected with Covid-19.
The app, called ResApp, uses machine learning to analyse the sounds of your cough. During testing, the app was found to correctly detect Covid-19 in 92 per cent of people with the infection.
‘The sheer scale of this global pandemic and the likely evolution to an endemic disease means we need more scalable diagnostic tools that can balance our current over-reliance on rapid antigen and PCR tests,’ said Professor Catherine Bennett, a member of ResApp’s Covid-19 Scientific Advisory Board.
‘By rapidly ruling out Covid-19, ResApp’s COVID-19 test would significantly reduce the number of rapid antigen and PCR tests required, while still maintaining the disease surveillance needed to manage the continued impact of Covid-19.’
ResApp uses machine learning to detect key signatures in coughs. To test it, the developer enrolled 741 patients in the US and India, including 446 with Covid-19. The participants completed surveys on any symptoms they were experiencing, and coughed into a smartphone with the app installed.
The results revealed that the app was able to correctly detect Covid-19 in 92 per cent of people with the infection. For comparison, lateral flow tests can detect around 72 per cent of symptomatic cases and 58 per cent of asymptomatic ones.