After close to a year of living with the coronavirus, it seems that many people are no longer stressing out after every sneeze or cough, or when their throat tickles. But there are still many out there who worry about catching the virus, and with the U.S. ringing up 90,000-100,000 new cases a day and Britain on lockdown for the second time, this is certainly not the time to declare victory and stop wearing masks.
The researchers are reportedly considering the distribution of a free pre-screening app that would be based on AI while at the same time working with hospitals to expand the pool of cough recordings for future testing. The models based on coughs could end up in smart speakers and digital assistants like Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa for daily analysis. For the accuracy needed to make the technology worthwhile to use, the testing would have to be done on devices with high quality microphones. Privacy issues will need to be ironed out.
Being able to open an app, ask a subject to cough, and quickly get a response about whether he or she has COVID would be a big help in trying to eradicate the disease.