A speech obfuscation system to preserve data privacy in 24-hour ambulatory cough monitoring

This paper described the development and testing of an audio-based speech obfuscation system used in conjunction with the Vitalograph VitaloJAK 24-hour ambulatory cough monitoring device. The device was designed to detect and obfuscate intelligible speech, while retaining cough events, with a view to preserving data privacy when using audio-based 24-hour ambulatory cough monitors. The system was developed using a training dataset comprising five hours of audio recordings from seven adult patients with chronic cough; it was further tested in dataset comprising five 24-hour audio recordings from five adults with various respiratory conditions (acute cough, chronic cough, IPF).