A research team led by engineers and neurologists at RMIT University has come up with a mobile app that uses a person’s voice to detect Parkinson’s disease and severe COVID-19.
How it works
The app uses artificial intelligence to analyze changes in a person’s voice in just 10 seconds. The research collected audio recordings of people with Parkinson’s disease and a control group saying three sounds – A, O and M, which are similar to Hindu meditation hymns.
The same three voices and an AI analysis method were also used to identify COVID-19 patients who need more clinical attention or hospitalization.
The results of this research have so far been published in three journals: IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and MedicineAnd the IEEE accessAnd the Computers in biology and medicine.
why does it matter
Diagnosing Parkinson’s disease can be challenging as everyone has different symptoms — although common symptoms include slow movement, tremors, rigidity and imbalance. Currently, this condition can be diagnosed through a neurologist’s evaluation, which can take up to 90 minutes.
The research team claimed that previous efforts to develop a computerized voice assessment to detect Parkinson’s disease and lung infection were unsuccessful due to major differences in people’s voices. The voice of people with Parkinson’s disease changes due to stiffness, tremors, and slowness, and this can be difficult to assess by expert physicians.
The result of using the three sounds[ed] “In a more accurate detection of the disease,” said Dinesh Kumar, principal investigator and professor in the RMIT School of Engineering.
Co-researcher Dr Kwok Kwong Ngo also claimed that their screening application is “faster and better” than similar AI-based methods. “Our screening test app can measure the voice of a person with Parkinson’s disease with great accuracy [a] A person at high risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 differs from healthy people.”
According to a media release, the research team will now work on a larger observational study to detect the development of Parkinson’s disease and lung disease. They are also looking to test the effectiveness of their AI technology on neurological conditions and other sleep disorders.
Furthermore, the team is looking for a commercial partner and a clinical partner ahead of a clinical trial scheduled for next year. Currently, they have made use of Kosice Technical University in Slovakia, University of Surabaya in Indonesia, and Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology in Bangladesh for this upcoming experiment.
In June, the US startup Rune Laboratories It has received FDA 510(k) clearance for the StrivePD app that monitors symptoms for Parkinson’s patients through the Apple Watch.
A company listed on ASX reapplywhich was recently acquired by Pfizer, has also developed an AI-based mobile screening app that uses a person’s cough records to detect COVID-19.
In other related news, SingHealth added a file Parkinson’s disease symptom tracker for her Health Buddy app.
“Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment can help in the management of these diseases, so making screening faster and easier is critical. This research will allow for an offline, easy-to-use, and low-cost test that can be routinely performed anywhere in the world, where clinicians can monitor their patients It can also promote a community-wide screening program, reaching people who may not seek treatment until it is too late, Professor Kumar said of their research findings.