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Interview: How voice AI will change neuro diagnosis



The voice AI platform Canary Speech has achieved an accuracy of 96 per cent in recognising early signs of Huntington’s disease. NR Times spoke to CEO and co-founder Henry O’Connell about its potential role in neuro-rehab. 

Speech is the most complex motor function in the human body and a key indicator of disease progression in patients with neurological conditions.

As a neurological disease impacts the muscular system it leads to changes in patients’ voice and language.

These changes occur gradually, beginning as subtle clues before developing into more noticeable symptoms as the disease progresses.

Parkinson’s patients, for example, might slur words, mumble or struggle with articulation, while people with Alzheimer’s may begin to forget words as their condition deteriorates.

The minute changes to speech that begin at the early stages of neurological diseases are difficult to spot. But, as a new era of AI and natural language processing technology (NLP) emerges, new platforms are showing promise for identifying dysarthria at a much earlier stage.

One of the leaders in this field is Canary Speech, a voice biomarker platform that has already had success in screening for mood, stress, and energy levels using a single 20-second audio clip.

Now, the company is turning its attention to neurological diseases as it seeks to use the same technology to detect the first signs of Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.

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