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Health Tech: Track Alzheimer’s progress with speech samples

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, but it can be difficult to make objective measures of its progress.

Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that affects more than 6 million individuals in the U.S. One of the biggest problems with the condition, however, is that the symptoms of decline can be difficult to observe reliably. New research from a company in Toronto shows that speech samples can provide an objective and reliable way to track cognitive decline in individual patients. Using recordings from interviews that use a standard – though subjective – test, the researchers found that linguistic and acoustic biomarkers provided objective measures of neurological impairment. This can provide healthcare professionals with an accurate way to assess the progress of the disease and the effectiveness of various treatments. The researchers believe that the system can be used to diagnose new cases of Alzheimer’s as well. Earlier and more effective tracking of the disease could lead to better outcomes for millions of patients.

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Written by Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is an "Into Tomorrow" Contributing Correspondent, health tech speaker, writer and the founding Editor of Health Tech Insider: a website and industry newsletter that covers wearable and mobile technology for health and medical applications. With more than 2,400 articles published on the site, he has a broad perspective of where the global industry stands today and where it’s headed... Into Tomorrow.

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