Testing for Covid-19 currently involves a deep throat saliva sample or the dreaded nasal swab. But it might soon be as simple as listening to the sound of your voice.
By some estimates, asymptomatic carriers of the new coronavirus make up 40 per cent of all cases. Researchers at MIT believe changes in people’s voices might indicate whether or not they have been infected.
By analysing audio data from asymptomatic coronavirus carriers, researchers from the MIT Lincoln Laboratory have proposed a way to detect signs of Covid-19 by using audio samples. A person’s voice needs to be analysed by a computer, though, as the changes are too subtle to be picked up by human ears.
To conduct the test, the researchers used videos of five carriers from press conferences and interviews posted to YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. They analysed audio data from both before and after the carriers tested positive for the virus.