Pay Attention to the cough: Early Diagnosis of COVID-19 using Interpretable Symptoms Embeddings with Cough Sound Signal Processing
COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has led to a treacherous and devastating catastrophe for humanity. At the time of writing, no specific antivirus drugs or vaccines are recommended to control infection transmission and spread. The current diagnosis of COVID-19 is done by Reverse-Transcription Polymer Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing. However, this method is expensive, time-consuming, and not easily available in straitened regions. An interpretable and COVID-19 diagnosis AI framework is devised and developed based on the cough sounds features and symptoms metadata to overcome these limitations. The proposed framework's performance was evaluated using a medical dataset containing Symptoms and Demographic data of 30000 audio segments, 328 cough sounds from 150 patients with four cough classes ( COVID-19, Asthma, Bronchitis, and Healthy). Experiments' results show that the model captures the better and robust feature embedding to distinguish between COVID-19 patient coughs and several types of non-COVID-19 coughs with higher specificity and accuracy of 95.04 $\pm$ 0.18% and 96.83$\pm$ 0.18% respectively, all the while maintaining interpretability.