KUCHING – A team of researchers comprising of clinical research and digital health experts from Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, the Digital Health Research, and Innovation Unit (DHRi), Institute for Clinical Research (ICR) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Malaysia and InFront Consulting Group was awarded first place for Cof’e. The first of such technology in Malaysia, Cof’e, a COVID-19 pre-screening app that uses A.I. technology, won in the Technology Category of the Malaysia’s Ministry of Health’s National Innovation Awards 2022.
Cof’e is an online pre-screening solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI), cloud technology, and mobile technology. It works by differentiating asymptomatic COVID-19 infection from individuals who may be otherwise healthy, just by the sound of the individual’s cough. The user-friendly and cost-effective tool allows those suspected of being infected, to perform pre-screening for COVID-19 infection at their own convenience, anywhere, any time, and with no additional cost.
With Cof’e, pre-screening takes only three minutes. For first time users, they will be greeted with a login screen that requires the user to register a mobile number. Cof’e will then prompt user to check the microphone of the device, making sure it is in good working condition and that any sound recorded is audible. After which the user will be brought to a consent page. Users’ consent is necessary as this outlines several outcomes of the test and what the user need to do next depending on the results. Once users’ consent is obtained, user will then be prompted to record the sound of his cough using the mobile phone’s recording app.
Users will find Cof’e’s simple interface and instructions easy to understand, with the result of the test being available in less than 10 minutes a convenience to many.
“It is indeed a unique application developed by Malaysians, for Malaysians and for the rest of the world,” said Prof Dr Patrick Then, Swinburne Sarawak’s Head of School of Information and Communication Technologies and Director of Centre for Digital Futures. Prof Then also congratulates the University’s collaborators from DHRi ICR NIH.
Powered by an AI engine, the app was developed and optimised by local talents from the Australian branch campus university, in collaboration with partners from NIH and a private consultancy group InFront Consulting Group. The research team also prioritised making the pre-screening test convenient and affordable while ensuring that individual’s privacy is maintained at all times when using the application.
“Aside from the convenience of using the application, Cof’e is also accurate, a revolutionary application that can also be used for tuberculosis, pneumonia, pertussis and asthma,” Then added.
Cof’e was launched during the national Conference for Clinical Research held from 18 to 20 October, Penang. The application is free and is accessible at https://coughsound.dhri.my/.