Hyfe Research Guide

This page describes how the Hyfe Research application works and what features it has. It 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”).

Screenshots of hyfe and hyfe AIR - Respiratory Care that Just Works

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.

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.

If you have not received credentials yet, please submit the Cohort Creation Form.  

Step 2. Install the app

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.

It is possible to open app page directly by this link Hyfe Research on the Play Store

Make sure to download Hyfe Research and not Hyfe Cough Tracker

After clicking on the search button on keyboard Play Store will show a list of applications. Admin needs to click on the Hyfe Research app from the list. The Play Store will show a detailed page of the Hyfe Research application. Admin can click on the Install button and installation will start automatically.

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 User Agreement with links to Term of Use and Privacy Policy. Admin must accept them before going further.


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

Step 4. Sign in

Once Admin accepts Term of Use and Privacy Policy the app will prompt Admin to the Sign in screen. Here Admin has to enter credentials provided by Hyfe.
The sign in screen has 3 fields and Login button.


  • Hyfe Id - required user identifier (should be unique for each end-user)
  • 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 5. Onboarding

After successful sign in, microphone and location 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 6. 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 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 7. Log out / Stop 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 pin 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).

Device Field Testing

The Hyfe Dashboard (https://dashboard.hyfe.ai/) gives researchers full access to their data and provides them with the tools to test Hyfe’s performance for themselves.

Researchers may test Hyfe performance however they see fit. As a starting point, here we describe (1) a generalized field test workflow and (2) specific instructions for the most common test procedures among our global network of research partners.

1. General field test workflow

Use this basic workflow for completing whatever specific field test that you choose to carry out.

With your phone:

  1. Use your phone to download and install the Hyfe Research app.
  2. Log in to the app with a HyfeID dedicated to performance testing.
  3. Note the date, the local time, and your log-in information.
  4. Carry out the test procedure of your choice (listed separately in section 2).
  5. Note the time of completion.
  6. Ensure that your phone remains on and connected to WiFi to allow for data upload.

On the Hyfe Dashboard:

  1. Once phone data upload is complete, use a computer to log into the Hyfe Research Dashboard.
  2. Navigate to your research cohort and click on the “Device Comparison” tab.
  3. Select the HyfeID(s) you used in your field test.
  4. Navigate to the appropriate time window and explore your data.

2. Common field test procedures

These are the most common methods for evaluating Hyfe performance. These tests are listed in increasing order of complexity; we recommend starting with Test 1 and working your way up as you see fit.

Test 1. Ideal conditions

Assess baseline performance in ideal conditions

Hold the phone close to your mouth (10cm - 30cm). Cough loudly 30 times, 20 seconds apart (for a total of 9 minutes of coughing).

Test 2. Effect of noise environments

Assess the impact of loud ambient noise on Hyfe performance

First, establish a baseline expectation (ideal conditions) using Test 1. Then conduct the Test 1 protocol in a noisy environment (e.g., a busy office space, an outdoor cafeteria, a pedestrian street, a city park, etc.).

Test 3. Device consistency

Compare Hyfe performance across multiple devices

Log in to two or more devices using separate HyfeIDs. Complete Test 1 a - b, making sure that both devices are held an equal distance from your mouth.

Test 4. Effect of carrying devices

Determine the effect of a carrying device on Hyfe performance

Carry out the Test 3 protocol, placing one device inside your carrying device (e.g., a necklace holder, arm band, waist bag, pocket, or purse). Use the second device as a “control” (not inside a carrying device). Make sure to note which device is used as the control.

Test 5. Effect of phone distance

Determine how far the phone can be from the user.

Carry out a truncated version of Test 1 at multiple distances from the phone:

  1. First, place your phone on a table or shelf and begin by standing very close to the phone (25 cm).
  2. Then produce your first round of coughs (10 coughs instead of 30, 10 seconds apart instead of 20).
  3. Move to your second distance (50 cm), wait 30 seconds, and repeat the cough procedure.
  4. Do this for several more distances (we suggest 25cm, 50cm, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 3m, and 4m).

We recommend using two devices in this test: one device, the ‘test phone’ is the one placed on a table or shelf; the second device, the ‘control’, is carried by the participant and always held close to the mouth while coughing. Be sure to note which phone is the ‘test’ and which is the ‘control’.

3. Some things to keep in mind

  • It may take time (several minutes to an hour) for Hyfe’s servers to update the data on the research dashboard.
  • Solicited (fake) coughs can be difficult to produce. Many fake coughs are quieter and briefer than actual coughs. Attempt to make your solicited coughs as realistic as possible.
  • We recommend using a separate timer or stopwatch to pace yourself through the testing sequence. The regular interval between coughs makes it easier in the Dashboard to determine whether any coughs were missed.
  • Note that cough timestamps may differ slightly across devices.

4. Questions or concerns about the quality of your data?

Contact us here research@hyfe.ai. To ensure that we are able to assist you as quickly as possible, please be sure to provide the following information.

  • Your name
  • Your location (city and country)
  • The Hyfe cohort ID you are using
  • The HyfeID(s) used in your field test
  • The date of your field test
  • The exact start time of your field test
  • The exact end time of the test
  • The issue you are experiencing or the questions you have regarding your results

Please allow up to one week for a response.

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

Credentials for users to access the Dashboard are created when the Admin submits the Cohort Creation Form. If you have not given access, please, notify (from the email address of the PI or authorized delegate) Hyfe of the email(s) 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 page at https://dashboard.hyfe.ai/ and log in.

Step 3. Explore your data

Once logged in, you’ll be able to select (drop-down menu) all of the cohorts for which you are designated as an authorized viewer.

Click on a cohort  and select “retrieve data for this cohort”. On the upper-left panel you will find:

  • Cohort Data: General information of the cohort: number of participants, number of activated participants, the most recent “heartbeat”, total person-hours tracked, total explosive sounds; and cohort parameters (ie, cohort_id, virtual cohort option, time zone). The map located at the bottom shows the participants’ locations. Please note this functionality depends on both (a) GPS being enabled for the cohort and (b) GPS being enabled the device itself.
  • Individual Data: You can visualize data by selecting one individual and time granularity using the scroll-down menus. Then select “Tables” or “Plot” to see data for a specific participant.
  • Device Comparison: This functionality enables you to compare data of multiple participants.
  • Export raw data: You can select what data you would like to download

Advanced features

Hyfe Research App version: ar1.4.0. In order to use advanced features of Hyfe Research application, user should be logged in as Admin and use app version ar1.4.0: To log in as Admin click on the Admin Tab on the bottom of the screen, enter credentials and click submit. After credentials are validated, you will be able to use the features below.

Cough Map

To view locations where Study participant coughed, Researchers should open Cough map from Admin menu. In case there were no coughs that day, application will show empty view with notification.

Sessions

Researchers may also view an information about sessions, their start and end time by selecting Sessions option from Admin page.

Solicit Coughs

Some research study protocols require elicited coughs at follow-up periods. To record cough Researcher should click on Solicit Coughs option on the menu.

In opened screen Researcher clicks on Hyfe-logo button at the bottom of the screen. After small countdown Study participant should cough to record the sound.

When cough is successfully detected Researcher will see screen with confirmation. Researcher may record one more cough by clicking Capture another cough button or return to Admin menu by clicking Back button.

In case no cough or sound (Study participant didn't cough) is detected Researcher will see appropriate error message and may click Hyfe-logo button to capture cough again.

Log time feature

This feature is used to verify the high performance of the Hyfe Research App. By logging coughs throughout the day, Users will record precise times at which coughs occurred. Researchers can then compare that log to the cough detections registered by the app.

Researcher can enable/disable 'Log cough' feature for Study participants from the Admin page by enabling toggle button next to Log cough option in menu.

In case 'Log cough’ is enabled, Study participants will be able to see and use Log cough button on recording screen. Every time Study participant clicks Log cough button it will create a time record in Logged time of coughs table. Researchers may access this table from Admin menu by selecting Logged time table option.

Researchers may access this table from Admin menu by selecting Logged time table option.

Update

Update the App

To update the App, Admin has to open the Play Store application then tap on the search field and type Hyfe Research. Click the Update button and then Open button.