Monitoring chronic cough: current and future techniques

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2010 Oct;4(5):673-83. doi: 10.1586/ers.10.63.


Coughing produces a characteristic sound that is readily recognized by the human ear and provides the opportunity to objectively quantify coughing through acoustic recordings. The development of digital recording technologies has facilitated such recordings over the extended time periods needed to capture symptom episodes. However, the manual counting of coughs by listening to long recordings is time-consuming, laborious and restricts usage to research studies. This article outlines the challenges in recording, analyzing and quantifying cough sounds and describes the systems under development. Progress is being made towards automated algorithms to identify and count cough sounds; however, current systems have only been tested over short time periods and in limited patient groups. Further work is required to achieve broadly applicable accurate cough monitoring systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics / instrumentation
  • Algorithms
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / diagnosis*
  • Cough / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • MP3-Player
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Time Factors