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New partnership to enable more accurate cough diagnosis in a post-COVID world

AI-powered cough tracking app Hyfe announces partnership with ObvioHealth to assist in virtual clinical trials and illness diagnosis

Innovative AI cough tracking app Hyfe, has today, announced a new partnership with global virtual research organisation ObvioHealth to provide measurement of coughing frequency, severities and types in virtual clinical trials. It is hoped this partnership will better assist clinical researchers in identifying different strains of coughs and adjoining illnesses, including long COVID in a post-pandemic world. 

Hyfe is an Artificial Intelligence platform that runs on any smartphone and detects and tracks coughs as they happen. Hyfe’s technology is unique in that it achieves high accuracy in detecting coughs in the real world: it can run across a wide range of hardware, devices and operating systems and it performs in environments with significant levels of background noise. 

This partnership will see Hyfe’s technology integrated into ObvioHealth’s decentralised clinical trials platform. Data will be collected in real-time and transmitted to a dashboard, enabling healthcare professionals and researchers to enrich the analysis of coughing and thereby enhance data collection and evaluation capabilities that can improve the measurement of symptoms. 

Founded just over one year ago, Hyfe is already deployed in more than 20 clinical research sites all over the world, including as part of a ground-breaking Acoustic Epidemiological study in collaboration with the University of Navarra in Spain, that monitors and analyzes cough frequency at population/ community level. As part of this study, Hyfe’s technology helped identify several respiratory conditions and helped participants with treatment. It even helped predict disease in a few cases, days before patients receiving diagnosis, simply based on changes in cough frequency patterns.

According to WHO statistics, respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of death and disability in the world, with figures revealing around 334 million people suffer from asthma worldwide. In addition to this, research by The Lancet has revealed millions die prematurely every year from tuberculosis, pneumonia, lung cancer and other chronic respiratory illnesses. Hyfe aims to use its technology to help curb the further spread of COVID-19 and identify signs of long COVID, as over 167 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed globally.

When it comes to AI and healthcare, a joint report published by the European Union’s EIT and McKinsey states that artificial intelligence tools can enable healthcare systems to provide better care to more people. Furthermore, AI can help improve the experience of healthcare practitioners, enabling them to spend more time in direct patient care, therefore reducing burnout.

Commenting on the significance of the partnership, Joe Brew, CEO and Co-founder of Hyfe, said: “This latest partnership with ObvioHealth will enable cough tracking to become a significant part of virtual clinical trials and provide further insight into how coughs can indicate serious illness and whether someone is suffering from long COVID. Our coughing diagnostic tool reveals patterns and correlations, giving clinical researchers an unprecedented level of fidelity. We are thrilled to begin Hyfe’s next phase, and we’re confident that our collaboration with ObvioHealth will lead to significant developments in our acoustic diagnostics technology, as well as demonstrate real benefit to individual health awareness.”

CEO of ObvioHealth, Ivan Jarry, said: “These digital instruments are improving the way data is collected and analyzed for clinical research. Not only do these tools reduce the burden on study participants and deliver more accurate data, they also open the door to new and deeper ways to analyze unstructured data that will deliver novel outcomes going forward.  That is why we’re so excited to announce our partnership with Hyfe and are already seeing the fruits of collaboration.”