Researchers create an app that detects COVID-19 by listening to your voice

A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have designed an app that detects signs of coronavirus just by analyzing your voice.

A lot of tech companies have designed many COVID-19 symptom checkers but a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University has made an app that detects signs of coronavirus just by analyzing your voice. Although one cannot rely on it for accuracy, the results obtained from the voice analysis test can at least coax a person to get tested for COVID-19 or visit a doctor.

The app called COVID Voice Detector can detect whether a person has symptoms of COVID-19 or not just by analyzing his voice. "I've seen a lot of competition for the cheapest, fastest diagnosis you can have. And there are some pretty good ones that are actually really cheap and pretty accurate, but nothing's ever going to be as cheap and as easy as speaking into a phone," said Benjamin Striner, a student from the Carnegie Mellon University who worked on the project, told Futurism.

So here's how it works

When login to the app, you will be asked to cough three times, recite an alphabet and say a vowel out loud for as long as you can, this would help the app in measuring a person's lung capacity. The process takes less than five minutes and by the end of your test, you will receive a score between 1 to 10. The score would tell whether your voice has the signs of COVID-19 or not. Before taking up the test, a person is required to provide their height and weight details and whether they have symptoms of COVID-19 or not. However, the researchers have made it very clear that the app is certainly not a diagnostic system and hence it should not be used as a substitute to tests conducted at a medical laboratory.

"What we are attempting to do is to develop a voice-based solution, which, based on preliminary experiments and prior expertise, we believe is possible. The app's results are preliminary and untested. The score the app currently shows is an indicator of how much the signatures in your voice match those of other COVID patients whose voices we have tested. This is not medical advice. The primary objective of our effort/website at this point of time is to collect large numbers of voice recordings that we could use to refine the algorithm into something we and the medical community are confident about," Bhiksha Raj, a professor who also a part of the project told Futurism.

"I urge people not to make healthcare decisions based on the scores we give you. You could be endangering yourself and those around you," Raj added.

However, when we checked the COVID Voice Detector website, the site was unavailable and it read that it is "currently undergoing construction and an approval process".