CoughMatch – Subject Verification Using Cough for Personal Passive Health Monitoring


IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC)



Research Areas



Automatic cough detection using audio has advanced passive health monitoring on devices such as smart phones and wearables; it enables capturing longitudinal health data by eliminating user interaction and effort. One major issue arises when coughs from surrounding people are also detected; capturing false coughs leads to significant false alarms, excessive cough frequency, and thereby misdiagnosis of user condition. To address this limitation, in this paper, a method is proposed that creates a personal cough model of the primary subject using limited number of cough samples; the model is used by the automatic cough detection to verify whether the identified coughs match the personal pattern and belong to the primary subject. A Gaussian mixture model is trained using audio features from cough to implement the subject verification method; novel cough embeddings are learned using neural networks and integrated into the model to further improve the prediction accuracy. We analyze the performance of the method using our cough dataset collected by a smart phone in a clinical study. Population in the dataset involves subjects categorized of healthy or patients with COPD or Asthma, with the purpose of covering a wider range of pulmonary conditions. Cross-subject validation on a diverse dataset shows that the method achieves an average error rate of less than 10%, using a personal cough model generated by only 5 coughs from the primary subject.

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