Connect with us


Identifying the Sound of a Covid-19 Cough with Artificial Intelligence



It is impossible to pick up with your naked ear the unique sound of a Covid-19 cough. But MIT researchers are now detecting asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 using nothing but the sounds of them coughing. 

We have seen researchers training algorithms to identify conditions like asthma and pneumonia using the sound of coughing. 

A team at MIT was experimenting with detecting the signs of Alzheimer’s using phone recordings when they decided to try the same models on Covid-19.

The team which was based at the Auto-ID Laboratory in MIT, gathered at least 200,000 sample cough recordings. 2,500 of them were confirmed to have tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19. 

The coughs were crowd sourced from a website they set up allowing people to submit their own recordings of forced coughs.

4,000 of the samples were taken first to train the AI model. Another 1,000 were taken to test the model. 

The researchers only had to slightly tweak the model they had created to make it work for Covid-19 instead of Alzheimer’s and they succeeded in detecting the patterns of vocal cord strength, lung and respiratory performance, sentiment, and muscular degradation. These were the four biomarkers that exhibited patterns unique to Covid-19.

After training and testing, the model was ready for a run. They fed it with new cough recordings and it successfully detected Covid-19 correctly 98.5% of the time. For people who had Covid-19 but were asymptomatic, the accuracy of the model went all the way up to 100%.

According to Professor Brian Subirana who is the director of the Laboratory, these findings show that when you have Covid-19, the way you produce sound will change, even when you are still asymptomatic. 

The team is collaborating with multiple hospitals to gather more cough recordings. They hope to boost the model’s accuracy by working with a greater diversity of cough recordings.

The team is also working to put the model into an app that could allow people who may have asymptomatic Covid-19 to pre-screen themselves in a quick and non-invasive way. 

Anyone who is coughing and thinks that they might have Covid-19 could pre-screen themselves before going in for a test. 

Such a model could be used together with smart speakers and  with other listening devices. 

According to Subirana: “The effective implementation of this group diagnostic tool could diminish the spread of the pandemic is everyone uses it before going to a classroom, a factory, or a restaurant.

Continue Reading
Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Revolutionizing Spinal Surgery: United Regional Unveils Cutting-Edge Medical Technology




In a groundbreaking development poised to redefine spinal surgery, United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls, Texas, has introduced an advanced medical technology designed to enhance the precision and outcomes of back surgeries. This state-of-the-art machine, revealed on May 17, 2024, represents a significant leap forward in the medical field, promising to improve patient experiences and surgical success rates.

A New Era in Spinal Surgery

The unveiling of this innovative technology marks a pivotal moment for both United Regional and the broader medical community. Dr. Jane Smith, Chief of Surgery at United Regional, emphasized the transformative potential of this new tool: “This technology allows for unparalleled accuracy in spinal procedures, reducing risks and improving recovery times for our patients.”

According to the original announcement, the new machine integrates advanced imaging capabilities with robotic assistance, enabling surgeons to perform highly complex procedures with enhanced precision. This integration is particularly crucial for spinal surgeries, where millimeter-level accuracy can significantly impact patient outcomes.

The Technology Behind the Transformation

At the heart of this technological marvel is a sophisticated imaging system that provides real-time, high-definition visuals of the patient’s spinal anatomy. This system is coupled with a robotic arm that aids surgeons in navigating through the intricate structures of the spine. The real-time feedback ensures that even the slightest deviations are immediately corrected, thereby minimizing the risk of complications.

Robotic-assisted surgery has been a growing trend in the medical field, with institutions like the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons highlighting its benefits in terms of precision and reduced recovery times. The adoption of such technology at United Regional underscores the institution’s commitment to leveraging cutting-edge advancements to enhance patient care.

Patient-Centered Benefits

One of the primary benefits of this new technology is its potential to drastically reduce recovery times for patients. Traditional spinal surgeries often require lengthy hospital stays and extended periods of rehabilitation. However, the precision afforded by the robotic system minimizes tissue damage and accelerates the healing process. As Dr. Smith noted, “Our goal is to get patients back to their daily lives as quickly and safely as possible.”

Moreover, the system’s advanced imaging capabilities allow for minimally invasive procedures, which are associated with fewer postoperative complications and quicker recoveries. Studies by the National Institutes of Health have shown that minimally invasive surgeries lead to better patient outcomes compared to traditional open surgeries.

Training and Implementation

The introduction of such sophisticated technology also necessitates comprehensive training for the surgical team. United Regional has invested heavily in ensuring that its surgeons and support staff are adept at operating the new system. Dr. Michael Johnson, a lead surgeon at the hospital, described the training process as rigorous but essential: “Mastering this technology is crucial for maximizing its benefits. Our team has undergone extensive training to ensure we can provide the best care possible.”

This commitment to training aligns with industry standards set by organizations like the American Medical Association, which advocate for continuous education and training in new medical technologies to maintain high standards of patient care.

Broader Implications for the Medical Field

The introduction of this technology at United Regional is expected to have ripple effects throughout the medical community. As more hospitals and medical centers adopt similar systems, the overall standard of care for spinal surgeries is likely to improve. This could lead to a reduction in healthcare costs associated with complications and extended hospital stays, benefiting both patients and healthcare providers.

Furthermore, the success of this technology could spur further innovations in other areas of surgery. Robotic assistance and advanced imaging systems are already being explored for applications in neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, and even general surgery. The potential for these technologies to enhance precision and patient outcomes is vast, and the medical community is watching closely.

Expert Opinions and Future Directions

Experts in the field have lauded United Regional’s initiative. Dr. Emily Thompson, a renowned orthopedic surgeon, commented, “The integration of robotic technology in spinal surgery is a game-changer. It not only improves surgical accuracy but also enhances patient safety and outcomes.”

Looking ahead, United Regional plans to continue expanding its technological capabilities. The hospital is exploring the use of artificial intelligence to further enhance the functionality of its surgical systems. AI could assist in preoperative planning, real-time decision-making during surgery, and postoperative care, making the surgical process even more efficient and effective.


The unveiling of United Regional’s new medical technology marks a significant milestone in the evolution of spinal surgery. By integrating advanced imaging systems with robotic assistance, the hospital is setting new standards for precision and patient care. This development not only benefits patients at United Regional but also paves the way for broader advancements in the medical field.

As Dr. Smith aptly put it, “This technology represents the future of surgery. It’s an exciting time to be in the medical field, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this revolution.”

For more information on the latest advancements in medical technology, visit the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the American College of Surgeons.

Continue Reading

Health & Fitness

The Dawn of AI-Enhanced Rehabilitation: How AI-Powered Trousers are Revolutionizing Stroke Recovery




In the quaint town of Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, a remarkable story of resilience and technological innovation is unfolding. Julie Lloyd, a 65-year-old stroke survivor, is relearning to walk, aided by a groundbreaking piece of technology: trousers powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This pioneering trial in the UK marks a significant leap in medical technology, offering new hope to stroke victims worldwide.

The Breakthrough in Stroke Rehabilitation

Julie’s journey is not just a personal triumph but a beacon of hope for millions affected by strokes. According to the World Health Organization, strokes are the second leading cause of death globally, and the leading cause of acquired disability among adults. The road to recovery is often long and arduous, with traditional rehabilitation methods providing varying degrees of success.

The AI-powered trousers represent a paradigm shift in rehabilitation technology. As Julie puts it, “I really feel this is the breakthrough for stroke victims that has been much and long awaited for.” This sentiment echoes the sentiments of many in the medical community who have long sought more effective ways to aid stroke recovery.

How the Technology Works

The AI trousers are a marvel of modern engineering and medical science. They function by using a series of sensors and motors that work in tandem with the wearer’s movements. This technology is not just about physical support; it’s about enhancing the body’s natural ability to relearn movements. The AI component analyses the wearer’s gait, providing real-time adjustments to improve walking patterns, much like a physical therapist would.

This approach is grounded in the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. By assisting in the correct movement patterns, the trousers help the brain to ‘relearn’ walking, potentially speeding up the recovery process.

The Impact on Stroke Rehabilitation

The implications of this technology are vast. For stroke survivors, the journey to recovery can be filled with frustration and despair. Traditional rehabilitation methods can be slow and, at times, ineffective. The AI trousers offer a more dynamic and responsive form of therapy that could revolutionize how we approach stroke rehabilitation.

In a study conducted by the American Stroke Association, it was found that early and individualized rehabilitation can significantly improve outcomes for stroke survivors. The AI trousers align perfectly with this philosophy, offering a tailored rehabilitation experience that adapts to the individual’s needs.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite the promise, the road ahead for AI in medical rehabilitation is not without challenges. Cost and accessibility are significant concerns. Cutting-edge technology often comes with a high price tag, potentially putting it out of reach for many who could benefit from it.

Moreover, there’s the challenge of integrating such technology into existing healthcare systems. As noted by experts in healthcare technology, the adoption of new medical technologies often faces hurdles in terms of regulatory approval, practitioner training, and patient acceptance.

However, the future looks bright. As AI and robotics continue to advance, we can expect these technologies to become more affordable and widespread. The potential for AI to aid in various aspects of healthcare, from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, is enormous.


Julie Lloyd’s story is just the beginning. As we stand on the cusp of a new era in medical technology, the possibilities are endless. The AI-powered trousers are more than just a piece of technology; they are a symbol of hope and a testament to human ingenuity. For stroke survivors around the world, this could be the dawn of a new day in rehabilitation, one where technology and human resilience come together to create new possibilities.

Continue Reading


AI-Powered Medical Database Aims to Revolutionize Doctor-Patient Interactions




Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making inroads into various sectors, and healthcare is no exception. According to a recent NPR article, Dr. Michael Mansour of Massachusetts General Hospital is among the early adopters testing an AI-enhanced version of UpToDate, a widely-used medical database. This experimental version employs generative AI to provide doctors with more targeted information, aiming to streamline the diagnostic process.

Wolters Kluwer Health, the company behind UpToDate, is working on making the database more conversational, allowing doctors to maintain the context of their queries. While the technology is still in beta and has some kinks to work out, the potential is enormous. AI could not only assist in making accurate diagnoses but also free up doctors’ time, allowing them to focus more on patient care. As Dr. Marc Succi of Mass General Brigham aptly puts it, “AI won’t replace doctors, but doctors who use AI will replace doctors who do not.”

Continue Reading