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Detecting disease through sound

Posted Feb 10 2009 11:00am

Sounds are very important in medicine. We don’t wear those stethoscopes just for show. OK some of us do. But, can a machine detect disease just by analyzing coughing sounds? Well, people from a Belgian company called BioRICS think it can. They just recently obtained a patent for their recognition and localization of pathological animal and human sounds technology.

This is a short description of their patent:

A system and method are described for combining the respiratory status (e.g. amount and type of cough) with the localization of organisms having the respiratory status in real time. The organisms are able to suffer from a respiratory complaint, i.e. they have lungs such as mammals especially farm animals and humans. In particular the present invention is advantageous for animals and humans who are exposed to closed confinements such as pens, cages, aircraft, public places where humans are in close proximity to each other.

Who knows maybe we will soon equip public spaces with such detectors. You know, sending kids home from school because a robot at the front door detected they were infected with respiratory syncytial virus based on their cough.

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