Your voice could reveal if you have heart problems

Heart problems can be heard in a person’s voice before they even know they have a problem.

A new study has found that heart disease requiring treatment can be identified by the way someone speaks when they speak.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the US have developed an artificially intelligent algorithm that recognizes small changes in language.

Of a group of 108 people classified as at risk for heart problems, nearly six out of 10 who did better on the voice test were in the hospital within two years.

Jaskanwal Deep Singh Sara, MD, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic and the study’s lead author, said, “We cannot hear these distinctive features ourselves.

“This technology uses machine learning to quantify something that isn’t easily quantifiable for us with our human brains and ears.”

It was found that people with a high voice biomarker score were 2.6 times more likely to have plaque buildup in the heart arteries.

They were also three times more likely to show signs of plaque build-up on medical tests than those who scored low.

At the start of the study, x-rays assessed the condition of the coronary arteries.

The people involved were then asked to record three 30-second speech samples using the Vocalis Health smartphone application.

One was a prepared text, the second a personal positive experience and the third a personal negative experience.

The AI-based system was trained to analyze more than 80 characteristics of speech recordings, such as frequency, amplitude, pitch and cadence, based on a training set of over 10,000 speech samples collected in Israel.

From previous studies, the researchers had found six characteristics that correlated with coronary artery disease, which were then used to create an individual score for each person.

A third of the patients had a high score – and were at risk – while two-thirds had a low score.

dr Sara said: “Telemedicine is non-invasive, inexpensive and efficient and has become increasingly important during the pandemic.

“We are not suggesting that speech analytics technology would replace physicians or replace existing healthcare delivery methods, but we believe there is a great opportunity for speech technology to act as a complement to existing strategies.

“Providing a voice sample is very intuitive and even fun for patients, and it could become a scalable tool for us to improve patient management.

“It’s definitely an exciting field, but there’s still a lot to do.

“We need to know the limitations of the data that we have and we need to do more studies in more diverse populations, larger studies and more prospective studies like this.”

This article originally appeared on The sun and is reproduced here with permission. Your voice could reveal if you have heart problems


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