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Speak Up To Beat Covid research study asks whether voice or coughing sounds could indicate if someone has coronavirus




Could the sound of your voice or the way you cough be enough to tell you that you may have caught Coronavirus?

A 'voice sounds database' is being put together by the government as part of research into Covid-19 - and people are being invited to add their own talking and coughing sounds to it.

Could the tone of your voice suggest you're carrying the virus?
Could the tone of your voice suggest you're carrying the virus?

The Speak Up To Beat Covid study aims to explore whether changes in a voice could indicate if a person may have contracted the virus and needs to take a test.

The Department of Health and Social Care explains: "The project aims to create a voice sounds database to explore how changes in a voice could tell us if a person has Covid-19. We will explore whether algorithms could use voice data, including recordings of coughs, to detect Covid-19.

Research studies are trying to establish if there are other signs of Covid which suggest someone should go home and get a test
Research studies are trying to establish if there are other signs of Covid which suggest someone should go home and get a test

"If we can identify if someone may be more likely to need a test by using voice sounds, we can identify more cases and help slow the spread of Covid-19 and protect our health service."

Anyone over the age of 18 who has taken a Covid-19 swab test - either a lateral flow or PCR test - within 72 hours can sign-up and take part.

People who have taken a Covid test within 72 hours can take part
People who have taken a Covid test within 72 hours can take part

All that is required to join the project is the NHS barcode ID for the test you've recently taken as well as your own laptop, desktop computer, smartphone or tablet on which to follow instructions and then record and submit your voice messages.

Those behind the research say, after answering some basic questions about yourself and your health, it will take just five to 10 minutes to submit the required sounds.

These will include a forced cough, some breathing sounds and a defined sentence to read aloud. Guidance on the online study page will take people through the recording stages step-by-step.

If taking a home test you'll need to have registered it online and have the relevant codes
If taking a home test you'll need to have registered it online and have the relevant codes

Organisers are clear to point out that no medical advice will be offered to those submitting their voice sounds- the purpose of the study is solely to collect research data - and that there is no money being paid to anyone who takes part.

The only other requirement - in a nod to safety and to ensure anyone potentially carrying coronavirus does not inadvertently pass it on while taking part in the study - is that voice sounds should only be recorded when you are alone.

With one of the necessary submissions needing to be a deliberate cough, and with coughing a way of spreading Covid further, those taking part are asked to complete the survey either in a room or vehicle by themselves and not when they may be near other people.

To learn more about the research project, which has been described as being at the 'forefront of science and technology' click here.



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