An Aussie software developer has struck a deal with the US military and jet fighter maker Lockheed Martin to supply a smartphone app that pilots can cough into — to tell if they are fit to fly.
Brisbane-based ResApp Health develops smartphone apps that use coughing sounds to diagnose and measure the severity of respiratory conditions.
The ASX-listed sofware developer will supply its technology to jet fighter builder Lockheed Martin which is working with the US agency responsible for developing new military technology for the United States.
Lockheed Martin is the US aircraft maker developing the F35 joint strike fighter — 72 of which will progressivly enter service in Australia from 2020.
ResApp (ASX:RAP) and Lockheed Martin will help build a software suite to predict “warfighter” readiness and potential chronic and acute illness in a variety of contexts using only a standard mobile phones instead of specialised, expensive medical devices.
The technology will check whether a pilot’s cough is just a little too chesty for the doctor’s liking.
The project comes under the US’s “Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Warfighter Analytics using Smartphones for Health (WASH) program”.
ResApp can diagnose the severity of diseases such as pneumonia, asthma and bronchiolitis by coughing into a phone.
ResApp’s forte lies in audio-based machine learning algorithms that can identify what kind of cough you have.
It ran into problems last year when poor trial results, caused by underestimating the challenge of testing inside a hospital emergency department, hurt the company’s share price.
ResApp had to repeat the trial.
It finished enrolment of 1470 patients in the US trial at the start of August and expects results later this month.
The stock has been on an upwards trajectory this year — though it hasn’t yet recovered to the near-50c levels of a year ago.
The stock was up 14 per cent at 20.5c in early Thursday trade.
“We are delighted to be working with Lockheed Martin to develop audio signatures and algorithms as key components in products to support the mission readiness and health of United States military personnel,” ResApp chief Tony Keating said in a statement.
Mr Keating said he couldn’t provide further comment due to confidentiality agreements with Lockheed Martin and DARPA.
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