ResApp Health has reported positive data from clinical trials of its new cough audio-based Covid-19 screening test.

The new Covid-19 instant screening test, which requires only a smartphone, uses cough sounds to detect the presence of infection.

It uses machine learning to analyse a patient’s cough sound and measure the severity of respiratory conditions without using any additional accessories or hardware.

The company’s new test showed 92% sensitivity for detecting Covid-19 in a pilot clinical trial.

The trial was conducted with 741 participants, including 446 Covid-19 positive patients, recruited in India and the US.

ResApp intends to initially target market opportunities where frequent Covid-19 testing is required, including travel, entertainment, healthcare worker, student screening, sports, employee and aged care markets.

It expects the new smartphone-based test to reduce costs, environmental impact and the number of rapid antigen or PCR tests required, as well as improve test availability.

The test can also improve security and results reporting by using biometric identification, such as facial recognition.

ResApp CEO and managing director Tony Keating said: “These algorithms offer a unique opportunity to provide a rule out screening test for Covid-19 at scale across the world, reducing the distribution challenge, the cost and the environmental impact of rapid antigen and PCR testing.

“We intend to accelerate commercialisation by immediately engaging with regulators globally, and we have already commenced discussions with global health and technology companies with the goal of rapidly bringing this product to market.”

The company said that the new cough audio-based algorithm was tested against the Breathe Easy dataset to ensure that it was specific to Covid-19.