PSA: Research team calls for cough sounds as it develops COVID-19 monitoring device

April 30, 2021 - 4:37 PM
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Image by Mohammed Hassan via Pixabay

A group of researchers from the Ateneo de Manila University is collecting cough sounds for an additional COVID-19 monitoring device it is developing for the coming “new normal.”

The Ateneo Research Institute of Science and Engineering launched this research to help provide additional preventive measures against COVID-19 infections.

To accomplish this, one of the researchers took to Facebook on April 27 to seek for participants who are willing to have their cough sounds submitted via an online survey form.

“The Ateneo-School of Science and Engineering launches this online survey to collect cough sounds for the development of a device for health monitoring purposes,” the post read.

 

In the graphic attached, it was also stated that the research team’s data gathering could help monitor asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic patients from transmitting the deadly virus.

“We invite you to share a short recording of your cough sounds to help us develop an additional device for COVID monitoring purposes,” read the graphic.

In the link attached, the instructions indicated that sending the cough sounds through the Google Form will take around one to three minutes.

The researchers said that all data gathered would remain confidential and anonymous.

It added that the participation is voluntary and any participant would not be penalized should he or she decide not to join.

“The data acquired from this research is entirely anonymous and will be kept on the research team’s personal computer for use only in data analysis. Your full name will not appear on any of the questionnaires, nor will you be identified in any report or publication of this research,” the form read.

As of writing, the online survey is still open for participants. You can participate through this link.

The research titled “Printed Electronics and Nanotech Materials for the New Normal: Breathing with Coughing Sensor, Antiviral Nanotech for Air Circulators, and Non-Invasive Health Monitoring through Sensor Array Patch” was financed and supported by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

Technology to monitor coughs

In an interview with Interaksyon, Dr. Erwin P. Enriquez, the project leader, explained that their team aims to help hospitals monitor the coughing of patients through an innovative, wearable type of device.

Enriquez said that he got this idea after attending a meeting in May last year wherein a doctor suggested that a device that monitors the cough of patients will be useful for hospitals.

“We are thus expanding on this idea for monitoring coughing frequency and use of cough sounds to add to the information that we can gather from students and staff on campus. This is possible through an innovative, wireless and wearable type device,” Enriquez said.

“Interestingly, there had been studies from abroad (e.g. MIT) that also use cough sounds wherein they find acoustic biomarkers that could provide telltale signs of COVID19-infected people,” he added.

Moreover, Enriquez also thought of a way on how to monitor a person’s health in near real-time to help prevent more COVID-19 infections, citing the country’s testing processes are impractical and expensive.

He hoped the use of cough sounds can serve as “additional health monitor” to assess a person’s health status.

“For our project, we are intending mostly to use this (cough sounds) as an additional health monitor that we can add to body temperature scan and the health declaration info that students and staff would provide, to be able to assess if the person is already showing early signs or symptoms of sickness,” Enriquez said.

Enriquez stated that he submitted this project proposal to the DOST-PCIEERD after the agency called for proposals for “new normal technologies” in May last year.