Can We Use Vocal Biomarkers To Diagnose COVID-19?
Mayo Clinic and Vocalis Health, Inc., a company pioneering AI-based vocal biomarkers for use in healthcare, today announced a collaboration to research and develop new voice-based tools for screening, detecting and monitoring patient health. The collaboration will begin with a study to identify vocal biomarkers for pulmonary hypertension (PH) which could help physicians detect and treat PH in their patients.
In a previous trial with Vocalis Health, the Mayo research team established a relationship between certain vocal characteristics and PH. In this new collaboration, Mayo will conduct a prospective clinical validation study to further develop PH vocal biomarkers. The clinical validation will utilize Vocalis Health’s proprietary software, which can operate on any connected voice platform (mobile, computer, tablet, etc.), and analyzes patients’ health based on voice recordings. Following this initial phase, researchers will work to identify vocal biomarkers targeting additional diseases, symptoms and conditions.
“We have seen the clinical benefits of voice analysis for patient screening throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and this collaboration presents an opportunity for us to continue broadening our research, beginning with pulmonary hypertension,” said Tal Wenderow, CEO of Vocalis Health. “Voice analysis has the potential to help physicians make more informed decisions about their patients in a non-invasive, cost-effective manner. We believe this technology could have important clinical implications for telemedicine and remote patient monitoring in the very near future. We are excited to work with Mayo Clinic and have already started planning clinical trials for additional indications.”
Pulmonary hypertension is a severe condition causing high blood pressure in the lungs, but as the symptoms are similar to other heart and lung conditions, it is often not detected in routine physical exams. While traditional blood tests can sometimes detect pulmonary hypertension, it frequently goes undiagnosed. This strategic collaboration aims to provide an alternative and highly scalable method to check patients for PH, using only a recording of the patient’s voice, to understand their health and the progression of the disease.
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