Sonde Health using voice as a biomarker for diagnosis

Back in 2013, we profiled Max Little of the UK-based Parkinson’s Voice Initiative, who was in the fairly early stages of voice testing and analysis to aid early diagnosis of this disease. By 2015, he had over 17,000 voice samples, was partnering with the Michael J Fox Foundation, and was seeking to develop a non-invasive, quick, accurate test based on acoustic markers. Dr Little is an Oxford University PhD, currently a Wellcome Trust/MIT fellow at the MIT Media Lab. The Voice Initiative has additional support from PatientsLikeMe, Twilio and Aculabcloud.  But also developed at MIT, by Thomas Quatieri’s team at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, is a broader platform for voice diagnosis. This has been applied to mental health conditions such as depression, respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, and in pilots for TBI, cognitive impairment and…Parkinson’s. This has been licensed to Sonde Health, which hasn’t much on their website but is out of the Boston-based PureTech R&D/venture firm. The acoustic markers they cite are ‘dynamic changes in pitch and harmonics, articulation timing and hoarseness or breathiness that indicate and requires no analysis of words’. MedCityNews, MedTechBoston

Catching up with: Mobisante, Parkinson’s Voice Initiative

(Editor’s note: This Editor is always gratified to see that some of the tech developments your Editors covered in early days pop up again having moved successfully forward. This article and the next on minimally disruptive healthcare follow up on articles respectively in April, December and June 2013.)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Mobisante-185×185.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /] Mobile ultrasound developer Mobisante is alive, well and well beyond their kit days we profiled back in 2011 (when they gained FDA approval) and last in April 2013. The smartphone is now a dedicated integrated mobile device called the MobiUS SP1 with applications in primary care, ob/gyn, emergency and vascular medicine, with the entire system under 12 ounces. It also has a big brother in a tablet-based system. Both are highly portable and take quick imaging to the max (and developing countries). Interview with Sailesh Chutani, CEO and co-founder. Hat tip to reader Sandeep Pulim MD of @Point Of Care via Twitter

The Parkinson’s Voice Initiative headed by the UK’s Max Little, currently a visiting professor at MIT, is moving forward having collected voice samples from 17,000 volunteers. He is seeking to develop a non-invasive, quick, accurate test for Parkinson’s through analyzing the patient’s voice patterns. Mr Little is adding to this the Michael J. Fox Foundation challenge in analyzing movement data captured through smartphones. Originally profiled in November and December 2013. Fast Company: Co.Exist (which also has his 2012 TED talk). Hat tip to Ashley Gold in today’s Morning eHealth (POLITICO)’s ‘What We’re Clicking’.

Diagnosing Parkinson’s in a 30 second phone call

…and with 99 percent accuracy is the claim made in this TED video by Max Little, an applied mathematician who has devised a voice test/analysis explained in this video. The challenge is to enable early diagnosis as there is no blood test and other diseases can mimic Parkinson’s disease. Neurological tests must be done in a doctor’s office and cost $300. This is algorithmically based, non-invasive and uses precision voice analysis. Parkinson’s is one of the most widespread neurological diseases, affecting 6.3 million people worldwide (the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates 7-10 million) with at least 1 million in the US and 127,000 in the UK (Parkinson’s UK). He now is examining 10,000 voices gathered on his website, the Parkinson’s Voice Initiative with Aculab and PatientsLikeMe. Mr. Little is a TEDGlobal 2012 Fellow and a Wellcome Trust-MIT Postdoctoral Research Fellow. TED Talks page. Hat tip to readers Bob Pyke and Wen Dombrowski, MD.

[This video is no longer available on this site but may be findable via an internet search]