Brisbane-based ResApp accelerates diagnosis and management of respiratory disease

If you’ve ever visited the doctor with a cough, you know that a stethoscope is typically the tool used to listen to a patient’s lungs for signs of respiratory difficulties. Diagnosis of acute respiratory disease is a subjective process which can be complex, and while a stethoscope is a useful aid, background noise can interfere and different sounds can still be misinterpreted by experienced clinicians.

How it works

ResApp is a smartphone application that analyses the sound of a cough to determine cause. It uses audio analysis to recognise features of coughs which are characteristic of five different respiratory diseases, including asthma, pneumonia, croup, bronchiolitis and lower respiratory tract disease.

Artificial intelligence (AI) constructs algorithms which are constantly tweaked as the device learns new information. During extensive testing in both adults and children, ResApp’s algorithms performed very well. For pneumonia diagnosis, the results exceeded the performance of other scoring systems, including the World Health Organization criteria for pneumonia diagnosis, where tool sensitivity is a priority.

The algorithms were invented by Associate Professor Udantha Abeyratne and his team at The University of Queensland (UQ) and further co-developed by ResApp and UQ. 

In February 2020, ResApp’s smartphone application ResAppDx-EU version 2, was approved as a Class IIa medical device and is now listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). 

Commercialisation and IP protection

Michael Buck IP is very pleased to be assisting ResApp with international patent applications and national patent applications in several countries to protect its highly innovative, high-tech products.

In a recent press release ResApp announced that they had received firm commitments to raise $5 million to accelerate commercialisation in Europe.

Where can this tool be used?

Healthcare providers in telehealth, emergency departments, urgent care and humanitarian organisations will be able to assess patient conditions without the need for additional hardware. According to Dr Paul Porter, the study principal investigator at Joondalup Health Campus and Princess Margaret Hospital, “where possible the tool should be used in conjunction with a clinician to maximise the clinical accuracy”. 

Clearly the app will be useful in management of respiratory disease in developing and low income countries and in remote or regional areas where there is limited access to health services.

It will be interesting to see where this technology goes, especially in light of COVID-19 and the challenges we are currently facing including hospital overcrowding.

To find out more about ResApp’s technology and keep up to date with developments, visit

If you are looking into intellectual property protection options in the area of medical devices or software, please feel free to contact us at  

anatomy model of lungs
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash