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FYI: Parkinson's Voice Initiative


Author: Rachael Tatman

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

FYI Body: I'M NOT PERSONALLY INVOLVED WITH THIS PROJECT, BUT BOTH ITS METHODOLOGY AND CONTENT IS OF INTEREST TO LINGUISTS.

THE PARKINSON'S VIOCE INITIATIVE (HTTP://WWW.PARKINSONSVOICE.ORG/) IS A LARGE-SCALE EXPERIMENT DESIGNED TO DETERMINE WHETHER PARKINSON’S-RELATED VOCAL CHANGES CAN BE DETECTED OVER THE PHONE.

FROM THE WEBSITE: ''WHAT IS EXCITING THOUGH: VOICE IS AFFECTED AS MUCH BY PARKINSON'S AS LIMB MOVEMENTS, SO WE HAVE DEVELOPED THE TECHNOLOGY TO TEST FOR SYMPTOMS USING VOICE RECORDINGS ALONE. THIS COULD ENABLE SOME RADICAL BREAKTHROUGHS, BECAUSE VOICE-BASED TESTS ARE AS ACCURATE AS CLINICAL TESTS, BUT ADDITIONALLY, THEY CAN BE ADMINISTERED REMOTELY, AND PATIENTS CAN DO THE TESTS THEMSELVES. ALSO, THEY ARE HIGH SPEED (TAKE LESS THAN 30 SECONDS), AND ARE ULTRA LOW COST (THEY DON'T INVOLVE EXPERT STAFF TIME). SO, THEY ARE MASSIVELY SCALABLE.''

THEY’RE WORKING ON LARGE-SCALE DATA COLLECTION AT THE MOMENT.