Scientists want cough recordings to help diagnose Covid-19

Researchers seeking a way of detecting coronavirus from the sound of a person's cough or even their voice have launched an app to collect recordings from as many people as possible.

Cambridge University's Covid-19 Sounds App asks users to submit recordings of them breathing in and out, coughing, and reading the sentence

Users are asked if they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 14 daysand if they are still in hospital, though researchers said there is "no way toconfirm that whatever a user is inputting is confirmed".

They are also asked about their age, biological sex, other health conditions,symptoms, whether they are a smoker and their approximate location.

Data, to be stored on university servers, will be used to help developmachine-learning algorithms that could be used for automatic detection ofCovid-19.

Professor Cecilia Mascolo, from Cambridge's Department of Computer Science and Technology, who led the development of the app, said:

Prof Mascolo said recordings of people without a diagnosis of coronavirus would act as the "control" in the dataset.

The app, which will not provide any medical advice, will not track users, theuniversity said.

It will only collect location data once when users are actively using it.

Once the team have completed their initial analysis of the data collected bythe app they will release the dataset to other researchers.