Vocalis Health is an Israel based AI healthtech company that says it has developed a new software that can analyse a person's voice and use that to detect if they have COVID 19 or not. According to the company, vocal biomarkers from people's recorded voices can be used to screen, detect, monitor and predict health symptoms, conditions and diseases. Vocalis Health is currently focused on screening users for COVID-19 and on monitoring patients with chronic diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, and Pulmonary Hypertension.
The company shared the results of a study it carried out last month in Mumbai, to test its tool VocalisCheck. According to Vocalis, the study covered over 2,000 participants who spoke in multiple languages including English, Hindi, Marahi, and Gujarati. The company said that results from an unblinded validation set of 288 participants demonstrated an AUC of 0.88, which translated to accuracy of 81.2 percent, sensitivity of 80.3 percent and specificity of 81.4 percent.
“PCR testing is being used to screen for COVID-19, which is an extremely expensive, resource-intensive and time-consuming approach,” said Dr. Shady Hassan, Co-Founder, Chief Operating and Medical Officer of Vocalis Health. “Instead of misusing PCR testing for screening, utilising a highly scalable screening tool like VocalisCheck can fill a significant gap in the current approach to COVID screening, with the ability to effectively funnel those with high risk of infection to the appropriate diagnostic test.”
VocalisCheck is a software-only product that can be accessed via smartphones or other devices. Users simply count from 50 to 70, their voice recording is transformed to a picture (spectrogram) containing 512 features. That picture is then compared using AI machine learning/ deep learning techniques to a composite picture based upon the voice recordings of COVID-19 positive participants in clinical trials to determine whether there is a high or low correlation between them. This technology can be integrated into existing mobile or web applications (via an SDK or Software Developers Kit) or can be accessed through a dedicated web-based portal.
However, the results have not been verified by third parties at this point. The company though notes that VocalisCheck is not intended as a diagnostic tool, but rather to use for screen and identifying people who need additional diagnostic testing, in order to allocate diagnostic resources more efficiently.
“We are encouraged by the study's findings, which further validate VocalisCheck's ability to screen for COVID-19,” said Tal Wenderow, CEO of Vocalis Health. “These new results, combined with our recent CE-mark approval, demonstrate our commercial readiness to deploy the VocalisCheck screening tool to help businesses, governments, universities and others safely return to work, school, healthcare and leisure while lightening the burden on health systems.”
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