Your voice can help with diagnosing serious illnesses with the help of vocal biomarkers

Digital Health is evolving rapidly. Our smartwatches are getting newer and better health sensors while the ability of our smartphones to aid with personal wellness is reaching new heights.

New research initiatives, as well as industry offerings, are exploring this area. Cigna announced its StressWaves feature for stress detection today. LIH is collecting Voice samples to help with the identification of Vocal biomarkers and Amazon Halo already is offering its customers a feature called Tone analysis.

Here are some of these initiatives spelled out for you in greater details.

Did you know that your voice can help with diagnosing serious illnesses?

The Luxembourg Institute of Health is working on an initiative that seeks to identify vocal biomarkers for chronic and infectious diseases with the help of voice samples.

The newly announced study “CoLive Voice” launched at the Luxembourg Institute of Health, in April this year aims to collect thousands of volunteer voice samples.

The Deep Digital Phenotyping (DDP) research unit at the institute would use the voice samples to analyze them in order to identify vocal biomarkers associated with numerous conditions.

Some of the vocal biomarkers they are researching are :

  • Stress-related signals
  • Anxiety and depression to cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • IBD

Dr. Guy Fagherazzi, Director of DoPH and study director of CoLive Voice says, “ A vocal biomarker is a feature or combination of features of the voice that can be associated with a particular clinical outcome and is, therefore, a valuable tool for monitoring patients, making a clinical diagnosis, assessing the severity of a disease and even assisting in the development of new drugs.”ColiveVoice vocal biomarkers

New Machine learning and AI models analyze the collected voice samples to gain insights.

“Acoustic features extracted from the recordings of a drawn out vowel such as “aaaa”can help us identify Parkinson’s, for example, while linguistic features extracted from spontaneous or semi-spontaneous speech might be better suited to mental disorders,” explains Aurélie Fischer, the CoLive Voice project coordinator.

Check out the CoLive project and provide your voice sample today.

Cigna’s StressWaves, announced today is another novel initiative in this area 

Cigna is launching a new feature called StressWaves, according to an announcement that the company made today. 

Developed alongside Ellipsis Health, StressWaves analyzes acoustics and voice patterns to both determine a user’s stress level and alert them of possible effects associated with it. Cigna StressWaves

Users answer questions over 90 seconds as the program analyzes results. 

Cigna’s 360 Well-Being Survey said about 83 percent of people reported being stressed, with 13 percent reporting stress levels as “unmanageable.”

The tool can already be accessed online.

Cigna has worked with Ellipsis Health to deploy their unique and advanced AI technology to offer people the chance to assess stress through voice detection. 

The decision-support tool builds upon over 20 years of research and is based on training a dataset of over 15,000 adults aged from 18-80+

Amazon Halo Tone Analysis

Amazon’s new wellness monitoring band already has a feature called ‘Tone Analysis’.

The real-time Tone analysis feature on the Amazon Halo can help you analyze your tone and provide you with insights. Halo Tone analysis and Notable moments feature

Although this feature does not currently check for any health conditions, it provides a pretty good emotion assessment that can show if you are stressed and experiencing negative emotions or feeling positive.

Vocal Biomarkers are just beginning to take shape. The near-universal ownership of mobile phones has made it possible for companies and institutions to explore this area in recent years and launch new health monitoring services.


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