Hyfe Research Guide

This page describes how the Hyfe Research application works and what features it has. The document provides instructions on how to use the app and describes the use cases for the person that administers end-users and accounts for them (let's call this person “Admin”).

Device setup and use

Step 1. Credentials

The first step for an Admin will be to receive from Hyfe a document with user credentials. Credentials consist of a series of (a) “Hyfe IDs” and (b) associated pin numbers. An example of the file format can be found here and seen to the right.

Credentials are important for multiple reasons. First, it serves as a way for both Hyfe and Admin to be able to communicate and visualize data on a participant/user, without needing to share any information about that person’s true identity, thereby ensuring privacy. Second, it allows linkage between a research “cohort” or pool of patients and each individual. Finally, the secret pin prevents data contamination by ensuring that nobody else can capture data using the ID in question.

To obtain credentials, write to research@hyfe.ai.

Step 2. Install the app

The Admin needs to install the app on the device. To do so an Admin has to open the Play Store application then tap on the search field and type Hyfe Research.

Make sure to download Hyfe Research on the Play Store and not Hyfe Cough Tracker:

Step 3. First run

Once the Hyfe Research app is successfully installed, the Admin can run it for the first time.

The app will show a Disclaimer and a User Agreement with links to Term of Use and Privacy Policy. These must be accepted in order to use the Hyfe Research app.

More information how the app works can be found here - How it works

Step 4. Field testing

Depending on the nature of your study, the size of your cohort, and the type of device being used, you may be asked by Hyfe to coordinate some simple field tests so as to ensure that everything is working correctly. If you would like to carry out some pre-study field tests and have not already been given instructions by Hyfe, write to research@hyfe.ai.

Step 5. Sign in

Once the Admin accepts Term of Use and Privacy Policy the Sign in screen will appear. The sign in screen has 3 fields:

  • Hyfe Id - required user identifier (should be unique for each participant)
  • Pin Code - required code for sign in with HyfeId
  • Optional ID - optional field (leave blank in most cases)

Important: If your study requires informed consent, or if you are subject to certain rules and regulations regarding capturing sound data for health, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are in compliance.

Step 6. Onboarding

After successful sign in, microphone permissions will be prompted. For the app to work, permissions must be granted: click "allow".

Next, you will be brought to the "Calibration" page.  Make sure that you have an internet connection, and have the participant cough when prompted.


Important: Ensure that the participant is coughing in a way that is in compliance with your institution's infection control policies.

The participants, not the Admin, must do calibration themselves. But in the case of the participant not being present, the Admin could grant the microphone permission and then close the app. When the participant later opens the app, she/he will be able to finish onboarding.

To finish the calibration the user will have to tap on the Recording Button (Hyfe logo on bottom of the screen). After the click application will show 3..2..1 counter and the participant is asked to cough only once right after the number 1 disappears.

After that the app will process the cough for a few seconds. If the app recognizes a cough it will say that cough was detected and ask to do it two more times. Otherwise the app will say that cough can’t be recognized and the participant will be asked to try again.

Causes for a cough not being detected might be:

  • High levels of background noise
  • Coughing multiple times instead of once
  • Coughing too early or too late.

Step 7. Main workflow

Once the calibration is finished the app will always show the main recording screen. This screen just shows that recording is active. The app works in the background all the time. But users should be warned to NOT to force “kill” the app. The app will show the running notification all the time while it’s working.

If participants don’t observe the notification in the notifications bar they should just find the app in their apps list and open it. After that they can go back or hide the app.

Step 8. Log out / stopping tracking

On the Hyfe Research app, the way to stop tracking or end a recording session is simply to log out. Logging out uses the same credentials as logging in, and requires an internet connection.

To log out from the app the Admin must click on the Logout button on the main screen. The app will show current user Hyfe Id and ask to enter a  Pin Code for that user id. If the code is correct the app will log out the user and show the very first Hyfe screen. 

Thereafter, the phone is ready to be used again for another study participant (ie, the cycle starts from Step 3).

You can ensure that data were correctly uploaded by checking on your cohort here.

Dashboard

The dashboard is a web application for researchers and physicians to monitor coughing and device activity remotely and in real-time. It is a developmental technology which is currently undergoing rapid changes. 

Step 1. Credentials

Notify Hyfe of the email that you’d like to use to access the dashboard (research@hyfe.ai). You’ll then be approved as a user and linked with your study cohort.

Step 2. Log in

Visit the the dashboard page and log in.

Step 3. Explore your data

Once logged in, you’ll be able to see (in the far left panel) all of the cohorts for which you are designated as an authorized viewer. If you have no cohorts, contact, research@hyfe.ai.

Click on a cohort, and a list of all the members of that cohort will appear below:

If you click on the name of one of your cohort members, you’ll see 4 panels. The upper-left panel shows general information on that user: their cohort affiliation, the most recent “heartbeat” (ie, time that the app communicated with the server), the number of unique recording sessions, the number of estimated coughs, and the device type. The upper-right panel shows a map of the participants’ locations.

Note that map functionality depends on both (a) GPS being enabled for the cohort and (b) GPS being enabled on the device itself.

The two panels show (left) a bar chart of the number of estimated coughs per day and (right) timestamps and confidence levels for each cough.

Further data exploration and export features are in development.