An application that records coughing and breathing to get out …

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The patient says the same sentence three times, such as -for example- “My voice has power in the pandemic”, then take deep breaths, cough two or three times and immediately afterwards breathe normally for thirty seconds.

The data from this whole process is collected by a pioneering application of researchers of the Technical University of Athens, which from next week starts pilot in AHEPA hospital of Thessaloniki. Already, the nurses entered the wards with tablets, recorded answers and recorded patients’ coughs and breaths, with audio clips providing valuable insights into disease progression, as explained by the app’s creators smarty4covid.

“The application is based on the fact that the voice provides us with very important information about our state of health and more specifically about the functioning of the respiratory system, which is obviously directly related to Covid-19,” he explains, speaking to the radio station. of the Athenian / Macedonian News Agency “Agency 104.9 FM”, one of the inspirers of the application and key researcher Konstantia Zarkogianni, PhD engineer of the National Technical University of Athens and EDIP at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The research project, funded by the Hellenic Center for Research and Innovations, started during the first lockdown. Using mobile health and artificial intelligence technologies, researchers are detecting abnormal patterns in voice recordings of cough, coughing and breathing, in order to highlight some biomarkers that have a high prognostic value regarding the progression of the disease.

Having passed all the scientific councils and receiving the necessary approvals, the test recordings have already been made and the nurses -despite the workload- in the coming days will participate in the program, recording coughs and breaths. “It is an indisputable fact that tackling the global health crisis caused by the pandemic has focused on research contributions and collaboration between scientists. “With this belief, as scientific nurses working in one of the largest University Hospitals in the country, we could not but offer our cooperation at the clinical level to the researchers of the National Technical University of Athens to carry out this remarkable research effort”, he states in APE -ME Dr. Christina Dimoni, Nurse PE, MSc Clinical Nursing, Doctor of the University of Athens and Director of Nursing Service at P.G.N. ΑΧΕΠΑ.

He also notes that this collaboration takes place under extremely difficult conditions, however what gives them courage is the belief in the results of scientific research and the joy of creative collaboration with researchers in a field that seems to have much to improve health care.

We cough on our cell phones and record from home

The research is moving in the second axis, in order for the experts to collect data from the citizens who are at home, whether they are sick or not. So anyone can visit www.smarty4covid.org and from the couch answer short questions and make the recordings from their mobile phone.

“The instructions on the website are clear and anyone, entering the application, can participate by following simple steps. He only has to answer questions related to demographics, such as height, weight, age, gender, if he has underlying diseases, if there are difficulties in performing daily activities or -for example- if he is a smoker. Also, if there are symptoms, that is, to record any factors that affect the respiratory system and then, with his mobile phone, to record his cough, his breath and his voice “, says Ms. Zarkogianni.

Researchers are urging people to take the test from home, with the ultimate goal of giving them an assessment of the severity of the condition if they become ill and if they need to contact their doctor immediately or even be hospitalized.

Of course, they point out that the application does not replace the doctor or his instructions, but the participation – and in fact with frequency daily or day after day – is important so that there is a history, to draw safer conclusions and to be able to help both the medical staff. as well as the patients themselves to self-manage their health.

The smarty4covid team, having long experience in developing clinical decision support systems, consists of researchers from two laboratories of bio-simulations and imaging technology (BIOSIM-biosim.ntua.gr and AILS-ails.ece.ntua.gr) of the National Technical University. Scientific responsible for the project is Dr. Konstantina Nikita, professor of NTUA and director of the BIOSIM laboratory. The main researcher of the project is Dr. Konstantia Zarkogianni, member of EDIP of NTUA and member of BIOSIM. The smarty4covid research team includes Dr. George Stamou, professor of NTUA and researchers-members of the laboratories BIOSIM and AILS.

© Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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