Tabla: An Acoustic Device Designed for Low Cost Pneumonia Detection

Adam Rao1, Jorge Luis Ruiz2, Chen Bao3, Shuvo Roy

  • 1University of California - San Francisco
  • 2University of California Berkeley
  • 3University of California, Berkeley



4-Page Contributed Papers (Oral)


09:30 - 11:00 | Wed 8 Nov | Room A | WAT1

Technical Session Track 1


Every year pneumonia is the cause of death for over a million people worldwide, with most of these deaths occurring in areas that do not have access to advanced medical infrastructure. Current methods of diagnosis include physical exam findings and chest x-rays, which can greatly facilitate treatment but are limited by interobserver error and availability. Using rapid prototyping techniques, we have developed a non-invasive acoustic proof of concept device that computes the transfer function of the chest to characterize the accumulation of fluid in the lungs caused by pneumonia. Difference in sound transmission at 500 Hz is presented as a marker of acoustic mismatch. Preliminary data is presented for a pneumonia patient with a 10 dB difference at 500 Hz between healthy and consolidated lung. Our device relies on methods which are low cost to implement and simple to administer, and if successful, will provide an inexpensive and rapid method for pneumonia diagnosis.

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