Michal Bryan, 18, has already developed an app to diagnose Parkinson’s.
Now he is working on a potentially ground-breaking piece of technology to help the fight against Covid-19.
“The app is a tool which uses three pieces of information to diagnose and triage cases of Covid.” Michael said.
“It takes a pre-existing conditions survey including pre-existing medical conditions and geolocation data … combining those two factors with microphone recordings of coughs.
“Having spoken to clinicians in China, their primary services are so overwhelmed, they’re using the cough as the main diagnostics tool.
“As a result, I thought why not create an app which creates a diagnosis around that.
“The idea is, scan the cough, and the associating medical history, and compare it to a database of sufferers’ and non-sufferers’ coughs and medical histories to create an app that can not only tell you the likelihood of you having Covid-19, but also what you should do about it. Whether you should be self-isolating, or going to hospital,” he said.
Michael believes it would not only solve the issue of shortages of tests available to the public but it would allow the collection of data across the country.
“The fact is we know so little about Covid,” he says. “One in five go to hospital and one in 25 still pass away from this. We have no idea about the long-term effects it could have.
“With pneumonia the increased risk of passing away as a result or having medical complications is very high within a year of their diagnosis and I wonder whether it’s similar for Covid.
National Lottery players have raised £600m which will support good causes through the coronavirus.
We’re facing exceptional times brought about by the global pandemic.
But thanks to you, essential funding is being distributed over the next few months to charities, projects and the good causes most impacted by coronavirus.
Click here to learn more about how you are helping – or visit national-lottery.co.uk/news
“So being able to create a long term study could help predict and overcome, mitigate and treat some complications that could result,” he said.
“For me the main is that it’s open source, so as many scientists, as many epidemiologists, and as many members of the public who are curious to find answers can access this.”
One thing stands in the way of rolling out the app.
“We’re waiting on the data to just plug into the app. At the moment I’ve been going into hospitals myself, trying to get data from Covid sufferers. But it’s a very long process,” he says,
“We’re talking about four days to create the app once we have all the data we need. So for a week and a half, I’ve had this team ready, it’s just been the painstaking approach of collecting this data.”
To help with the creation of the app and speed the process along, you can head to this website to add your data to the database.
This is not the first app Michael has made.
“My journey began when at eight I lost my dad to Parkinson’s. I wanted to find a cure for Parkinson’s, I realised however passionate and determined I was, I wasn’t going to find a cure overnight.”
Instead, he began visiting care homes and began to notice something on amongst the elderly men and women he saw.
“I noticed as these people went to laugh or smile they looked like my dad, they could almost tell there was something wrong.
“I went to one elderly gentleman and I said, I don’t suppose you have Parkinson’s.
“He said ‘no no I’m fine, I have a liver disease and a life of regret.’ But six months later I saw the man again and he told me he had Parkinson’s and asked me ‘how did you know?’. So I began to think, what if you can see Parkinson’s.”
This led to the development of Michael’s first app, which uses facial recognition technology available on smartphones to help try to diagnose and triage Parkinson’s.
* Michael Bryan is an ambassador for the #Iwill campaign