Audio signal processing for place-based disease surveillance

Geographic public health surveillance (GPHS) involves the routine and ongoing collection, analysis and dissemination of geographical health data for the purpose of improving public health.  The HGL has worked on a variety of projects that advance the practice and application of GPHS.  This includes research tackling the practical challenges of developing new methods of analysis1,2 and evaluating the quality of data3 as well as theoretical discussions on the scope and nature of future GPHS activities4.

This project involved the development of micro surveillance tools for monitoring health at important locales–such as bus terminals and busy shopping areas.  The approach we worked on detects changes in the frequency of audible signs of illness–in particular, the increase in frequency of coughs and sneezes over time–to signal the onset of sickness in the population.