Italy's Neosperience finds way to detect COVID-19 from sound

MILAN, March 23 (Reuters) - Italy’s Neosperience has developed a way to detect COVID-19 infections by analysing a person’s speech or cough, the software company said, sending its shares up more than 13% on Tuesday.

Neosperience President Dario Melpignano said the system, which detects sounds characteristic of the respiratory disease, was more than 80% accurate.

The project was developed with partners and by using artificial intelligence embedded in a cloud platform called Neosperience Health Cloud, which has already been used to analyse chest x-rays, the company said in a statement.

Neosperience’s shares, listed on the Aim section of the Milan Bourse, were automatically suspended after rising 13.5% to 6.50 euros per share.

“It’s just the beginning of a project that has incredible potential because the processing of this sort of data can be effectively used as a screening test,” said Alessandro Nizardo Chailly, the chief executive of Neosperience’s partner Capsula.

The recording and analysis model could help to detect and diagnose a wide range of pathogens, added Capsula’s scientific adviser Giuseppe Andreoni. (Reporting by Giancarlo Navach. Editing by Giulia Segreti and Mark Potter)