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ResApp Health (ASX:RAP) - CEO & Managing Director, Dr Tony Keating
CEO & Managing Director, Dr Tony Keating
Source: ResApp Health
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  • ResApp (RAP) has announced an upcoming clinical study to see if its mobile phone-based cough analysation tech can detect COVID-19
  • The company has teamed up with New York-based genomics and diagnostics company Phosphorus to take on the study
  • Essentially, trial patients will cough into ResApp’s mobile-based tech and then take a gold-standard at-home saliva test, which is made by Phosphorus
  • The saliva kit will be sent to Phosphorus labs for diagnosis, and these results will be compared to ResApp’s cough data
  • This way, the company can refine its algorithm and see if it can accurately detect COVID-19 with just a cough and a mobile phone
  • ResApp’s cough-testing tech has already received regulatory certification in some key jurisdictions for detecting pneumonia, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and more
  • After spiking this morning, ResApp shares have retreated back to the grey line to trade at 6 cents each

ResApp (RAP) has announced an upcoming clinical study to see if its mobile phone-based cough analysation tech can detect COVID-19.

The mobile healthcare company’s cough-based machine-learning tech is designed to analyse coughs and other respiratory sounds to diagnose conditions like pneumonia, asthma, bronchiolitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The tech has received regulatory approval in some key jurisdictions, but ResApp is now taking on a U.S. study to train its algorithm to identify COVID-19 through nothing but coughs and a smartphone.

ResApp has teamed up with New York-based genomics and diagnostics company Phosphorus to conduct the test.

Essentially, ResApp will recruit people from COVID-19 hotspots in the States who are either symptomatic for COVID-19 or asymptomatic with a high likelihood of having COVID-19.

The cough test

The trial patients will cough into ResApp’s tech and then use a gold-standard at-home saliva test kit made by Phosphorus.

The saliva kit will be sent to certified Phosphorus labs for testing and diagnosis, and these results will be compared to ResApp’s cough data to help the company refine its algorithm and see if it can accurately detect COVID-19 with a cough.

A second cough sample will then be taken from the patients to bolster the study’s dataset.

ResApp CEO and Managing Director Dr Tony Keating said the company is confident that its smartphone-based screening test will become an “important and useful tool” within global health systems.

“Securing the agreement with Phosphorus to support the study is an important step in gathering the high-quality U.S. data needed to develop robust and accurate algorithms, in particular when combined with our large existing dataset of patients with non-COVID-19 lower respiratory tract illnesses,” Tony said.

“Phosphorus has considerable experience in COVID-19 testing and its test will allow ResApp to obtain gold standard COVID-19 status from patients in the comfort of their own home,” he said.

“By recruiting in the at-home setting, we will have symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, an important factor in COVID-19 as it is both highly contagious and has considerable variability in its impact on patients.”

He explained that once the company is able to identify COVID-19 through smartphones, there is scope to develop the tech further and identify COVID-19 patients facing a more rapid disease progression — allowing them to seek more urgent care or review than they otherwise would have.

ResApp will start recruiting patients for the study before the end of March, with plans to recruit up to 1500 people. Collecting all of the data will take around two months.

Shares in ResApp spiked in early action today, up as much as 7 per cent in the first hour of trade. However, at 11:32 am AEDT, ResApp retreated back to the grey line to trade at 6 cents per share.

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