DetectNow, a local Pakistani startup, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect the presence of COVID-19 in people by examining cough audios.
The startup is also registered with the National Incubation Center (NIC) and it wants to offer cost-free coronavirus screening without delays. The major symptom of COVID-19 is cough and so the idea is based on the analysis of cough via AI.
DetectNow targets to find the unique biosignals of the Covid-19 cough and calculate the probability of a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Moreover, its service is easily available via a web application making it easy, accessible, and convenient even in low-resource areas but the diagnostics function is not live yet, as this will require a medical trial first. The application has collected 600 samples so far.
DetectNow aims to be an additional tool in battling coronavirus by assisting national health care systems in the screening, outbreak prevention, and outbreak control process using AI.
The team behind the initiative said in a statement, “We are awaiting verified data from COVID-19 positive tested people. This has to be done in a clinical trial to protect Data privacy.”
They went on to say that, “Considering that we want to CLEAN a drum recording (highly explosive sounds), we removed low frequencies below 40 Hz and high frequencies above 15 kHz – 18 kHz because of microphone limitations. We also used a gate to remove unwanted noise between the coughs and make sure that you do not remove the “silent coughs” or “heavy breathing” because this might probably be important features for the model. Finally normalizing the sound, so that we do not have different loudness/ amplitudes among the files.”
Their approach to detect the cough of coronavirus patients and non-coronavirus patients will provide a foundation for further clinical research with AI on pulmonary diseases. It is a non-profit, humanitarian, work for the social good, and wants to stay the same way.