Remote Analysis of Respiratory Sounds in Patients with COVID-19: Development of Fast Fourier Transform–Based Computer-Assisted Diagnostic Methods

Gregory Furman, Evgeny Furman, Artem Charushin, Ekaterina Eirikh, Sergey Malinin, Valery Sheludko, Vladimir Sokolovsky, David Shtivelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Respiratory sounds have been recognized as a possible indicator of behavior and health. Computer analysis of these sounds can indicate characteristic sound changes caused by COVID-19 and can be used for diagnostics of this illness. Objective: The aim of the study is to develop 2 fast, remote computer-assisted diagnostic methods for specific acoustic phenomena associated with COVID-19 based on analysis of respiratory sounds. Methods: Fast Fourier transform (FFT) was applied for computer analysis of respiratory sound recordings produced by hospital doctors near the mouths of 14 patients with COVID-19 (aged 18-80 years) and 17 healthy volunteers (aged 5-48 years). Recordings for 30 patients and 26 healthy persons (aged 11-67 years, 34, 60%, women), who agreed to be tested at home, were made by the individuals themselves using a mobile telephone; the records were passed for analysis using WhatsApp. For hospitalized patients, the illness was diagnosed using a set of medical methods; for outpatients, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used. The sampling rate of the recordings was from 44 to 96 kHz. Unlike usual computer-assisted diagnostic methods for illnesses based on respiratory sound analysis, we proposed to test the high-frequency part of the FFT spectrum (2000-6000 Hz). Results: Comparing the FFT spectra of the respiratory sounds of patients and volunteers, we developed 2 computer-assisted methods of COVID-19 diagnostics and determined numerical healthy-ill criteria. These criteria were independent of gender and age of the tested person. Conclusions: The 2 proposed computer-assisted diagnostic methods, based on the analysis of the respiratory sound FFT spectra of patients and volunteers, allow one to automatically diagnose specific acoustic phenomena associated with COVID-19 with sufficiently high diagnostic values. These methods can be applied to develop noninvasive screening self-testing kits for COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31200
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • COVID-19
  • audio analysis
  • computer-assisted methods
  • diagnostics
  • modeling
  • remote computer diagnosis
  • respiratory analysis
  • respiratory sounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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