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Geisinger to Test Vocal Biomarker Algorithm to Detect COPD Exacerbations

Jaime Rosenberg
Geisinger is launching a new study to test if a novel technique can detect flare-ups or exacerbations experienced by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by listening to their voices through their smart phones.
Geisinger is launching a new study to test if a novel technique can detect flare-ups or exacerbations experienced by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by listening to their voices through their smart phones.

These flare-ups and exacerbations are typically caused by an infection in the lungs, which can cause inflammation and narrow the airway.

Using Healthyzime’s vocal biomarker algorithm, the Voice Analysis of COPD Patients with Exacerbations (VOICE) study will use personalized, artificial intelligence-based vocal biomarkers that will allow clinicians to monitor patients through their smart phones.

The study, supported by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline, is currently recruiting patients aged between 40 and 80 years to participate. To enroll in the study, patients must have a prior year of COPD exacerbations, including both bronchitis and pneumonia.

Patients in the study will be required to perform daily voice recordings and questionnaires over a 6-month participation period.

“If we detect changes in a patient’s health condition earlier, we can reduce hospitalization and administer care in a timely manner at home,” said Paul F. Simonelli, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Geisinger and principal investigator of the study, in a statement. “We know that early detection of exacerbation improves outcomes, and Healthymize has the potential to present an easy-to-use solution that monitors patients from home.”

He added, “Healthymize can start with COPD and then expand to other chronic care concerns, such as heart disease and mental health issues.”

Healthymize is currently developing biomarkers for other voice-affecting diseases, like asthma, heart failure, and neurological disorders.

“As voice becomes the norm of interaction with smart devices, Healthymize will leverage its presence on users’ devices to provide voice analytics for health,” according to the company.

 
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