Sound Dr. collects breathing sounds to help detect respiratory diseases


FPT Software has recently started to collect breathing sounds for Sound Dr. – a web application that helps facilitate respiratory disease diagnosis using artificial intelligence.

Sound Dr. is a project of FPT Software’s AI Lab – an entity in charge of AI research and development – with the consultation from Head of Woolcock Institute of Medical Research Vietnam Dr. Nguyen Thu Anh. The application collects users’ demographic information, medical history, and records of voices and respiratory sounds. AI algorithm will analyze and “learn” the variations in sounds to distinguish people with breathing problems to give them warnings about respiratory diseases.

The project takes place as Vietnam remains on high alert for COVID-19. Its symptoms are quite similar to common respiratory diseases, making it difficult for people to tell the difference.

The project is led by FPT Software’s Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer Nguyen X.P. “With the research and development of a respiratory disease diagnosis model, FPT Software’s AI Lab looks to join health professionals in anti-pandemic efforts, especially when Vietnam may not have enough test kits in case of (COVID-19) outbreak”, said Mr. Nguyen. He noted that similar researches had already been carried out by reputable universities in the UK and the US. However, “collecting samples of Vietnamese people is essential. It helps produce more accurate results based on physical characteristics of Vietnamese people, and also contributes to the global database”, he added.

Sound Dr. aims to build a large respiratory sound database of Vietnamese people

“The accuracy of the AI model will be enhanced as the data set grows bigger and more diverse in terms of age, sex, and medical state”, said FPT Software’s CAIO. After two weeks of launching, the application has received over 1,500 samples. The AI Lab expects to expand its data set to 15,000 sound samples, both from FPT employees and the public. “Every small contribution is of great significance to the development of respiratory sound database of Vietnamese people”, he noted.

Besides respiratory sounds, Sound Dr. plans to collect physical examination results and chest X-rays of FPT Software’s employees if authorized. These data enable the AI-based model to analyze more thoroughly and generate more accurate predictions. Such technology application in healthcare like Sound Dr. is expected to come in handy in the long-haul battle against coronavirus.