Estimation of Cough Peak Flow Using Cough Sounds

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Jul 22;18(7):2381. doi: 10.3390/s18072381.


Cough peak flow (CPF) is a measurement for evaluating the risk of cough dysfunction and can be measured using various devices, such as spirometers. However, complex device setup and the face mask required to be firmly attached to the mouth impose burdens on both patients and their caregivers. Therefore, this study develops a novel cough strength evaluation method using cough sounds. This paper presents an exponential model to estimate CPF from the cough peak sound pressure level (CPSL). We investigated the relationship between cough sounds and cough flows and the effects of a measurement condition of cough sound, microphone type and participant's height and gender on CPF estimation accuracy. The results confirmed that the proposed model estimated CPF with a high accuracy. The absolute error between CPFs and estimated CPFs were significantly lower when the microphone distance from the participant's mouth was within 30 cm than when the distance exceeded 30 cm. Analysis of the model parameters showed that the estimation accuracy was not affected by participant's height or gender. These results indicate that the proposed model has the potential to improve the feasibility of measuring and assessing CPF.

Keywords: cough ability; cough peak flow; cough sound; cough strength; in-ear microphone; microphone; smartphone.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cough / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sound*
  • Spirometry
  • Young Adult