Hyfe, a company dedicated to AI-powered cough detection and tracking, has partnered with Merck, to integrate its cough tracker technology into Merck’s consumer disease educational efforts. Merck (known as MSD in countries other than the US and Canada) is working to improve and save lives  via leading-edge science. As a result of this partnership, more than 10 million adults in the US would get access to an easy-to-use app for personalized cough frequency information. 

Respiratory illnesses are on the rise. Tracking coughs could offer insights into the disease state, but it is impossible to manually track the intensity, sound, and frequency of one’s cough. The technology developed by Hyfe uses existing devices like smartwatches and smartphones to listen to cough-like sounds by patients, analyze these sounds, and find trends and triggers like seasonal allergies that could otherwise go unnoticed. Patients can then share this data with healthcare providers to aid them in diagnosis and treatment. Hyfe allows users to choose when and for how long they decide to track their cough, relieving some possible privacy concerns with the technology. 

The cough-tracking AI technology has 3 main components. 1) Frequency Monitoring to help 24/7 monitoring of cough, 2) Classification of cough based on the type and sound characteristics and correlating with respiratory indicators, 3) Pattern Recognition that identifies significant patterns of clinical and epidemiological nature. This helps detect the disease before it gets full blown. The patterns dictate timely intervention. 

Longitudinal cough tracking could benefit patients, health care providers, medical researchers, and government agencies.