ResApp Health Limited (ASX:RAP), a leading digital health company developing smartphone applications for the diagnosis and management of respiratory disease, today announced that it has signed an exclusive worldwide license agreement with UniQuest, the main commercialisation company of The University of Queensland, for an additional diagnostic tool that complements ResApp’s existing cough-based diagnostic technology. The tool is a set of machine-learning algorithms that use a combination of clinical features to screen for childhood pneumonia. Unlike ResAppDx, it does not use cough sound analysis, but relies on commonly-taken measurements such as heart rate, temperature, presence of chest in-drawing or oxygen saturation. The technology was developed at The University of Queensland by the team led by Dr Udantha Abeyratne with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is the subject of a recently filed provisional patent application.
Pneumonia is the leading cause of mortality for children below 5 years of age. The majority of incidents occur in poor countries where doctors and healthcare workers rely on the WHO/IMCI criteria, which has been shown to yield very low specificity. In a recently published peer-reviewed study (World J Pediatr. 2017 Mar 22. doi: 10.1007/s12519-017-0019-4) the new algorithms achieved a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 70-72% for diagnosis of childhood pneumonia on a 134-subject dataset, versus 10-38% achieved by the WHO/IMCI criteria. The new algorithms thus deliver an 84% to 655% improvement in specificity.
“We are pleased to continue to work with Dr Abeyratne’s team at The University of Queensland and license another unique technology which strengthens our product portfolio, in particular for the developing world,” said Tony Keating, CEO and Managing Director of ResApp Health. “These new algorithms represent a significant improvement over the current standard of practice in the developing world and a unique opportunity to deploy an effective pneumonia screening tool in situations where a smartphone is not available or a cough recording is not possible.”
As part of the license agreement, ResApp will pay UniQuest a royalty on products that use the new algorithms. ResApp also agreed to abide by the Gates Foundation Global Access Objectives and make the technology accessible (with respect to cost, quantity and applicability) to the people most in need within the developing countries of the world.
About ResApp Health Limited
ResApp Health Limited (ASX: RAP) is a digital health company developing smartphone applications for the diagnosis and management of respiratory disease. The technology is based on machine learning algorithms that use sound to diagnose and measure the severity of respiratory conditions without the need for additional hardware. The algorithms were initially developed by The University of Queensland with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ResApp has both adult and paediatric clinical studies underway with preliminary results demonstrating accurate diagnosis of pneumonia, asthma/viral wheeze, bronchiolitis, croup and upper respiratory tract infections in children as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and pneumonia in adults. Markets for ResApp’s technology include telehealth use through partnerships with telehealth service providers, emergency department and regular clinic use by healthcare providers, at-home use by consumers and working with global aid and humanitarian organisations to deliver tools for the developing world.
For more information on ResApp, visit www.resapphealth.com.au.