Health awareness

How a smartphone app can help people with chronic cough

CoughTracker counts cough frequency and can help identify cough patterns

August 3, 2023

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“I find it impossible to do a lot of the things I enjoy without feeling like I’m bothering the people around me,” said Judy C., who lives with chronic cough.

“Most people don’t understand what I’m going through.”

– Judy C.

Although most of us cough from time to time, it becomes chronic cough when it lasts longer than eight weeks. And while coughing is one of the most common reasons people visit a doctor’s office, it’s often tricky for people with chronic cough to accurately describe their experience to their physician.

“In my experience, most people don’t come close to accurately estimating the number of times they cough per day,” said Dr. Peter Small, chief medical officer of Hyfe, Inc. “Doctors can have a more informed conversation with their patients who cough if they have additional information about the incidence and severity of the coughing. I believe cough frequency should be monitored in patients with the same accuracy as other common health measurements, like blood pressure, body temperature and heartbeat.”

Using AI to help people with chronic cough describe their cough patterns

Collaborating with Hyfe, a leader in acoustic artificial intelligence (AI) with expertise in AI-powered cough detection, we found a way to better support people who cough, using their own smartphones.

chronic cough tracker app

People who use the CoughTracker app can track their coughing over time to help inform conversations at the doctor’s office. Its AI-powered technology records cough-related sounds and allows people to compare the frequency of their coughs over time, helping them see how their cough can affect their daily life.

“CoughTracker is one way that we’re helping people to better understand different aspects of their cough that they may have not noticed before,” said Megan Wilkinson, associate director of Human Health marketing.

“We’re interested in empowering people to take charge of their own health.”

— Megan Wilkinson

Over half of CoughTracker users track their cough for 12 hours or more per day. It can be downloaded for free in both Google Play and Apple app stores. CoughTracker aims to help people have a productive conversation with their doctor about their cough.

CoughTracker should not be used to diagnose or treat any health conditions. Always seek the advice of a health care professional.

CoughTracker is powered by Hyfe and is funded and supported by Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA.