Cough Into Your Cell Phone - Receive a Diagnosis
American and Australian scientists are working on a new form of cell phone technology that will allow users to cough into their own phones and receive a diagnosis. Rather than constantly making trips to the doctor's office, this new technology will allow people to cough into their phone and discover whether they have a common cold, the flu, pneumonia, or another form or respiratory illness.
While the idea may sound silly in theory, the cough itself is the most prevalent symptom that patients present with when turning up at the doctor's office. Even the shortest burst of sound from one cough can provide a lot of insight into the nature of a patient's illness.
A cough has a specific structure. First comes the inhalation, a sharp intake of air into the lungs. Next comes an initial but silent expulsion of air that last about 50 milliseconds.
The final 100 to 150 milliseconds of the cough contains the distinctive sounds that could help doctors and nurses remotely diagnose a cough as the common cold or more serious pneumonia.
The new cell phone technology will likely function to detect between viral and bacterial infections by classifying the cough as either wet or dry, productive or nonproductive (presence of mucous or lack of).
The cough offers a variety of clues about illness, especially since sound emerges not only from the mouth, but from the neck, chest, and head. Mucous absorbs wavelengths of sound while the cough simultaneously emiis other noises.
The scientists are working with old patient records and approximately 1,000 cough samples in order to develop a database.