VitaloJAK Cough Monitor

The cough monitor device is named VitaloJAK™ after the company involved (Vitalograph Ltd), and the inventors (Jacky, Ashley and Kevin).  This dedicated HiFi recording device provides ambulatory objective monitoring of cough with post-recording signal processing and expert systems to analyse coughs.

The Problem
Coughing is unpleasant and distressing and chronic coughing can impact on a patient’s quality of life.  Coughing is the most common symptom for which patients seek medical advice and chronic cough affects approximately 12% of the UK population.  In 2005, £96.7million was spent in the UK on over-the-counter cough liquids.  Until now, no accurate method for objectively measuring cough was available, despite various attempts to develop a cough monitor device over the last 40 years.

The Solution
Developed by Kevin McGuinness (Clinical Engineer), Dr Jaclyn Smith (MRC Clinician Scientist/Honorary Consultant) and Professor Ashley Woodcock (Professor of Respiratory Medicine) at University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and Vitalograph Ltd, a world-leading manufacturer of respiratory diagnostic products, the cough monitor is an ambulatory device for the quantification of coughing from sound recordings.  Patients are set up with the device in the hospital and return 24 hours later where the data is downloaded and custom software identifies the number of coughs during the period of use. This is the first, and so far only, ambulatory device capable of continuously recording over a day and a night, with unparalleled sensitivity and specificity.  The device won the first prize in the medical device category of the 2008 North West NHS Innovation Awards.

The Process
TRUSTECH was approached to work with the researchers once the initial validation of the device had been carried out and the researchers were beginning discussions with a commercial partner.  TRUSTECH organised for assignment agreements to be put in place to ensure that University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust owned all the intellectual property associated with the device (as the researchers work for more than one employer).  TRUSTECH then helped the Trust to file a patent on the device in collaboration with a patent agent and to negotiate a licence agreement with Vitalograph Ltd.  The researchers are now working with Vitalograph to develop the device as part of a commercial service for use in clinical drug trials.

I am interested in sponsoring a cough related clinical trial
The VitaloJAK is used in the Wythenshawe for single centre cough studies and medicines evaluations.  See below to have your enquiry forwarded to the appropriate researcher.  For multi-centre clinical trials, please contact Vitalograph directly who have the resources and experience to conduct multi-centre and global respiratory clinical trials including in the future, cough studies – contact:

For more information, please contact Joanne Thomas on 0161 276 6965 or email

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