Can an App Detect COVID-19 Through Your Voice?

While still in the testing phase, an app developed at CMU could make detecting the virus cheaper and faster.


As testing for COVID-19 remains slow going across the nation, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are exploring a new way to find signs of the coronavirus using smartphones.

Scientists at university have developed an app known as the COVID Voice Detector, a free service that can potentially detect signs of COVID-19 through audio clips. Users are asked to cough and recite the alphabet, a score is then displayed comparing it to audio from those known to be infected.

The application is still in the testing phase, so the displayed score is not a confirmation of a positive or negative test result for the coronavirus. The researchers explain that conventional testing is still the preferred method.

“If the app is to be put out as a public service, it, and our results, will have to be verified by medical professionals and attested by an agency such as the CDC,” Bhiksha Raj, a professor at Carnegie Mellon who helped develop the app, tells Futurism. “Until that happens, it’s still very much an experimental and untrustworthy system.”

The researchers encourage curious individuals to test out the app, which will allow scientists to get data from a variety of voices to make the app more accurate.

“To make this system accurate, we urgently need examples of voices from healthy and infected people,” says a message on the app’s website. “Please use this system to donate your voice. Please ask your friends’ family to also do so. Together we may help save lives.​”

Categories: The 412