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Infra-Sound Auscultation Technology Confirms COVID-19 Status

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 14 Apr 2020
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Image: The Bat Call Product Line (photo courtesy of Bat Call)
Image: The Bat Call Product Line (photo courtesy of Bat Call)
Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and deep learning (DL) classification and analysis of infra-sound auscultation help identify and treat COVID-19 patients.

Developed by Bat-Call (Nesher, Israel), the acoustic digital diagnostic system provides a full spectrum auscultation of body sounds. Originally designed for early diagnosis and management of both chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases such as pneumonia, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, and congestive heart failure (CHF), it has now been expanded to also support COVID-19. The DL classification algorithm has previously shown a 90% detection accuracy of pneumonia patients, compared to an average of 55% with traditional auscultation.

The company provides three product lines:
• The Voqx smart auscultation device, which analyzes lung sounds, and can also provide vital sign information thanks to integrated sensors that measure pulse, oxygen saturation, respiratory cycle, and body temperature.
• The Pyxy is a compact, self-assessment device with all the features of the Voqx, which can be used to serve severe chronic cardiac and respiratory diseases patients worldwide that are in constant need for home monitoring.
• The Acoustic Imaging System (AIS) provides three dimensional (3D) mapping of chest sounds, including highlighting abnormalities in respiratory functionality estimation, enabling speedy and accurate triage in medical centers.

“Bat-Call's technology can potentially be harnessed for effective and rapid mass screening of population as well as accurate diagnosis and monitoring of quarantined COVID-19 patients without medical personnel on site,” said Yitzhack Schwartz, MD, chief medical officer of Bat-Call. “The device classifier can indicate the condition, and if needed, transmit it remotely. This will reduce unnecessary expensive or invasive exams such as X-ray, CT, blood tests, lowering referrals to medical centers and will keep medical staff safe from infection.”

“It is of great importance to quantify and detect the progress of lung disease involvement, which causes difficulty in breathing and coughing, without the other symptoms. A technology that can monitor low frequencies of lung sounds can better detect and monitor deterioration or improvement of the disease,” said Amin Shneifi, MD, head of the emergency department at Emek Medical Center (Afula, Israel). “I have no doubt that Bat-Call's technology can be a great tool in managing the pandemic, as it can be used for diagnosing and continuous monitoring of patients and optimizing treatment.”

Infrasound describes sound waves with a frequency below the lower limit of audibility (generally 20 Hz). Although not audible, vibrations at these frequencies are usually palpable or visible. Examples of such infrasonic vibrations are provided by precordial motion, such as thrusts or heaves, and by arterial and venous pulses.

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