Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have got together with a company specializing in artificial intelligence to discover how much our voices talk about our health. As WCCO fights the battle against the coronavirus or COVID-19 has medics listening closely.
Dr. Amir Lerman, the Director of Cardiovascular Research at Mayo Clinic believes that they are getting to understanding what according to him is the new era in medicine, one that artificial intelligence is making sense of. "The body is sending us a lot of signals that we're not paying attention to. When we talk about voice, it's not exactly what you and I can hear. The voice is a spectrum of a lot of frequencies," Lerman said.
COVID-19 and Voice
The case studies at the Mayo Clinic have got better in on those frequencies, which include identifying certain vocal biomarkers and detect the health of the patients. From pulmonary hypertension to depression and now COVID-19. "We're trying to use the same element of voice recognition to find if you can actually enhance your sensitivity to detection to individualized with COVID," Lerman stated.
Tal Wenderow, who is the President and CEO of Vocalis Health, which is an Israeli Medtech start-up using the algorithms of AI to screen, said, "Our early data indicates that we have a signal in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Now you're asked to count from 50 to 70. You get five seconds to clear your throat and get ready."
"We transfer the voice from the voice domain to the image domain. Then, every voice that comes we translate to an image and we compare and we look at that correlation," he added. Vocalis is at present working with employers in Asia and India as they are looking for ways to getting back the employees safely. While it can sound like something from the age of space, Vocalis said it comes at a time when contactless care is important. "You don't sound so good today. That's what we're trying to quantify and standardize and use that as a tool in the healthcare toolbox," Wenderow further added.
After the COVID-19 screening gets published in a peer-reviewed journal, Mayo is planning to start using it too. In the next two years, Mayo will work with 400 patients in the pulmonary hypertension study for screening the voices of the patients to get a better understanding of their health and progression of the disease.