Highmark Health, Bosch partner on study that will use AI to identify lung conditions in children

Highmark Health has announced a collaboration with Bosch Group to research the use of sound analytics in diagnosing lung conditions in children. 

The collaboration was unveiled at CES 2022 in Las Vegas this week. The study will begin on a small cohort of pediatric patients at Allegheny Health Network in the first quarter of this year. Microphones will collect breathing pattern data that will be analyzed using artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect conditions like asthma. The same Bosch technology is currently being used at the International Space Station. 

During patients' visits to the pediatric clinic, a microphone will capture children's breathing patterns as they talk and breathe. Those sounds then will be analyzed and added into the AI and machine learning techniques with clinical details about the patient.

The collaborators say the research builds on traditional principles of listening to patients’ chests with a stethoscope. The AI technology could improve at-home care, where diagnostic results could be shared with a physician that could further investigate any abnormality and make recommendations accordingly. 

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"This unique collaboration between two industry leaders fits squarely with our mission of exploring technological innovations that can improve the health and wellness of our patients and members," Kelly J. Shields, Ph.D., senior research data scientist at Highmark Health, said in a statement.

"Bosch's global leadership in the development of pioneering industrial and consumer technologies and Highmark Health's R&D expertise, along with AHN's leading pediatric expertise is an incredibly promising combination that we believe can help transform the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and other breathing disorders," Shields said.