- Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients exhibit no symptoms of infection however, they can still infect others and spread the disease further.
- Researchers at MIT have designed an AI model that distinguishes between asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients using forced cough recordings
- The AI model accurately identified 98.5% of coughs from symptomatic COVID-19 patients.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 80% of SARS-CoV-2 infections result in mild or asymptomatic COVID-19. These individuals exhibit no physical symptoms of the disease. However, it seems they might have a cough distinguishable from healthy individuals. A change not easily discerned by the human ear.
Therefore, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an AI (artificial intelligence) model that can differentiate healthy individuals from asymptomatic COVID-19 patients using forced-cough recordings.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 Patients – How to tell them apart?
The team of researchers first collected forced-cough recordings from healthy individuals and COVID-19 patients. To do so, they set up a website in April where patients could send their recordings of a forced-cough. Furthermore, they could fill out a survey of their symptoms, COVID-19 status, and status of their COVID-19 test.
The AI model was trained using 4,000 of the collected samples along with samples of spoken words. They then tested the model using the remaining 1,000 recordings.
The team published their findings in the IEEE Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology.
The AI model accurately identified 98.5% of coughs from confirmed COVID-19 patients. Additionally, out of those it detected 100% of asymptomatic patients who did not have symptoms but tested positive for the virus.
AI Framework for Alzheimer’s Used for COVID-19
Before the pandemic, the researchers had been working on an AI framework that could detect muscular degradation using audio recordings and, diagnose Alzheimer’s.
When evidence appeared of COVID-19 patients experiencing similar neuromuscular impairment, Brian and his team decided to tweak the Alzheimer’s framework for diagnosing COVID-19.
However, researchers argue the AI model is not meant for diagnosing COVID-19 but rather differentiating asymptomatic coughs from healthy ones.
Currently, the team is working on creating a user-friendly app that can serve as a prescreening tool to identify those who are asymptomatic.
Laguarta, J., Hueto, F., & Subirana, B. (2020, September 30). COVID-19 Artificial Intelligence Diagnosis using only Cough Recordings. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.embs.org/ojemb/articles/covid-19-artificial-intelligence-diagnosis-using-only-cough-recordings/