Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have come up with one of the most complex and unlikely-sounding approaches yet – but if it succeeds, it may be a game-changer for an environment in which there is a serious scarcity of suitable COVID-19 research kits. The thought, huh? Downloadable software that can diagnose COVID-19 simply by listening to and interpreting the speech print of the patient.
“First and foremost, what we have here is a data-gathering initiative,” Bhiksha Raj, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon working on the mission, told Digital Trends. “After studying and performing preliminary experiments on COVID and non-COVID voices and coughs, we conclude that it might be possible to achieve an accurate marker for potential COVID by examining the expression. We’ve set up a program to allow users to send voice recordings. Tens of thousands of reports of COVID-infected subjects and hundreds of thousands of uninfected persons are expected, both stable and those with other issues. The expectation is that citizens will make a difference.
Official Website : COVID Voice Detector
The device, called the COVID Voice Detector, is not only gathering data for any as-yet-unspecified endpoints. The software is accessible for consumers to check for themselves right now.
Through accessing Carnegie Mellon’s dedicated website, users may apply a series of tests to calculate their average “COVID-19 score.” To do so, they must first complete a brief profile with details on their age, weight, sex, height, and the racial or ethnic group with which they most associate. We will also address concerns about the recent cough or fever we are now having, along with any prior history of COVID-19.
It’s accompanied by several auditory exercises, such as crying three times into the ear, creating long- “ooo” and “eee” noises, and repeating the alphabet. The data will then be forwarded to the researchers who will use it to further develop the framework. Within a minute, the consumer should be able to figure out their outcomes, which are viewed as a sliding scale to show how interested we will be.
“The COVID ranking, as you get it, is more of an estimate at how closely the signatures in your speech suit that of the other COVID patients we’ve studied so far,” Raj said. “The coughs of those with contaminated lungs sound distinctive. Elongated voices like ‘aaaa’ not only sound distinctive, but the length at which they can be retained is off. When you utter a long series of numbers, preceded directly by an alphabet, you are expected to talk for a prolonged amount of time. COVID patients continue to feel breathless, runny noses, mildly sore throats, and fatigue quickly. Both of these can influence the way they talk — especially when they have to talk for long periods.
But does “COVID Voice Detector” work?
Of course, the million-dollar concern is just how effectively it operates. As for so much about coronavirus, from concerns on whether or not those who receive it gain tolerance to how long our latest coronavirus lockout can last, the simple response is that we don’t know yet.
The COVID Voice Detector Team stresses that this is only an in-process device and can not be regarded as a legitimate substitute to an approved diagnosis. “I recognize that this is an experimental program that is still under progress,” reads the checkbox on the platform as the consumer builds their profile. “This is not a medical device. It was not checked by medical experts. This is not approved by the FDA or the CDC and may not be used as a replacement for a legitimate procedure or review.
There is, however, some impressive talent involved. This is not a fly-by-night operation. Rita Singh, professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, who played a leading role in creating the A.I., has long sought to recognize micro-signatures in human voices. She claims the speech can be used to explore a variety of social, physiological, and diagnostic knowledge regarding individuals. (Other studies have also used the speech as a possible basis of diagnostic evidence for disorders such as Parkinson’s.)
Official Website : COVID Voice Detector
How reliable is this COVID-19 detector?
Can the two options be required by the COVID Voice Detector? Its creators openly agree that there is still a ton that needs to be proved to be successful. Bhiksha Raj states that, for example, only when someone gets a potential coronavirus match ranking, it doesn’t automatically imply that they do. There was not enough study of COVID-19 patients to make this connection apparent. “I do not allow anybody, in any way, to be confused for expert or semi-professional judgment and to make judgments about health care based on this,” Raj said. “When they did, they might place themselves and others at risk.”
At all, this is simply a triage method that may drive patients to pursue more professional advice. Yet if it performs as expected, the payoff opportunity may be immense.
“If this succeeds, we’re going to have a really quick and fast way to track millions of individuals,” Raj said. “We will not only get immediate assessments but also look at statistical patterns among subjects that regularly use them. It might provide a way to monitor health outbreaks in general in the future — especially ones that involve the voice.
Of that purpose, Carnegie Mellon plans to exchange the data she gathers with other scholars across the globe, allowing them to report on it either collaboratively or separately. It’s the only catch? “We would like the promise from everyone that uses our data that they do not exploit or sell any IP that comes out of it either.”