Sick Human Detector

A Belgian company has filed a patent for an invention designed to detect sick travelers in airports. They call it a device for the "RECOGNITION AND LOCALISATION OF PATHOLOGIC ANIMAL AND HUMAN SOUNDS."

The idea is to place microphones around airports that will zero in on the sound of people coughing. The people hacking their lungs out can then be prevented from boarding a plane. A less controversial use of the technology is to detect sick pigs in pig pens.

Can people be stopped from traveling because they have a cold? I've never seen that done, but I'd like it (despite the inconvenience to the sick people) 'cause otherwise they infect everyone else on the plane. Though of course, if I were the one kicked off a plane I'd be seeing red. (via New Scientist)
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 17, 2009
     Category: Health | Disease | Inventions | Travel





Comments
So they've got the patent on a microphone hooked up to a computer with sound recognition software installed? Why doesn't that sound unique? Oh, I know, I've got the same capabilities right here in my house!

Try to kick me off your plane and I'll cough on you!

The TSA reported today that criminal charges were brought against an undisclosed individual for coughing on an airplane in flagrant disregard of federal law.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 03/17/09 at 11:26 AM
it's easy to spot sick humans.

trace WU users' web addresses.
Posted by mrjazz on 03/17/09 at 12:47 PM
Someone who sits a couple desks down from me spends all day coughing (don't get me started on how irritating that is!) but it's because the air is so dry in here compared to her home that has a humidifier hooked up to the central air. She's not sick. Annoying, but not sick.
Posted by Jules in Connecticut on 03/17/09 at 12:50 PM
The patent claims it's possible to differentiate the sound of a productive cough (i.e. you're coughing up all kinds of disease-bearing mucus) versus a non-productive cough (caused by dry air, etc.). So theoretically, the coughing non-sickies should be weeded out.
Posted by Alex on 03/17/09 at 01:17 PM
@ Wenthral - ban the kids too, problem solved...
Posted by vegas_girl in Vegas Baby!! on 03/17/09 at 01:53 PM
Alex, can it tell the difference between coughing up all kinds of disease-bearing mucus and coughing up 20 years worth of smokers phlegm?
Posted by Madd Maxx on 03/17/09 at 04:57 PM
big brother strikes again. if it was that easy to diagnose disease doctors wouldn't have to go to school so long. if it is that easy then you should be able to cough into a brethalizer and get the meds you need from an interconected vending machine. but then some of the ridiculous over charging for care would be put to a stop, and we can't have that. :roll:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/17/09 at 08:44 PM
I say influenza, you say emphysema, let's call the plane ride off. Let's call the whole thing off! 😉
Posted by DownCrisis on 03/17/09 at 10:02 PM
cute! 😊
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/17/09 at 10:22 PM
Alex says: The patent claims it's possible to differentiate the sound of a productive cough (i.e. you're coughing up all kinds of disease-bearing mucus) versus a non-productive cough (caused by dry air, etc.). So theoretically, the coughing non-sickies should be weeded out.

If I have been exposed to an allergen which has given me a case of allergic rhinitis, I might have congested lungs and a productive cough, but that does not make me contagious.
Posted by stpatme on 03/17/09 at 11:06 PM
On the other hand, I can see why people would be interested in something like this. When we finally do have the pandemic that wipes out 3/4 of the population, it will most likely be spread by people from the country of origin traveling globally on airplanes.
Posted by Nethie on 03/17/09 at 11:41 PM
Good point!
Posted by stpatme on 03/17/09 at 11:43 PM
if the day to day risk of illness from air travel were as bad as all that, don't you think flight attendents would have about the highest rate of illness? but i do agree about the filter maintainence. there should be a set requirement for changing filters and the mix of fresh air in the cabin. then we won't need to have a computer tell us who has a productive or non-productive cough.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 03/17/09 at 11:52 PM
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