AI technology empowers robust automatic recognition and early detection of Parkinson's symptoms


Partnership to develop smart glasses that can detect vocal changes associated with disease in the early stages

Emteq and audEERING have joined forces to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s Disease, creating a solution that will enable more-personalised treatment of the condition through continuous tracking of symptom severity.

Parkinson's Disease is a chronic and disabling neurodegenerative disorder where prevalence increases with age – an increasing problem for an increasingly-ageing global population.

Today, around 10 million people worldwide are affected by the disease and medication type and dosage varies with the individual.

But, today, no mechanism exists to enable clinicians to continuously and objectively track the effectiveness of prescribed medication, or the patient’s adherence to the prescription.

Getting the medication right is, therefore, an iterative and often-difficult process carried out with only subjective feedback from the patient.

Emteq’s emotion-sensing AI technology reads facial expression and physical movement through wearables that continuously track digital biomarkers from the wearer, enabling the next generation of emotionally-aware devices, applications and digital assistants.

Now, to assist with Parkinson’s symptom monitoring, the company is developing a ‘normal’ pair of glasses that can track, interpret, and gauge many of the key physical indicators of Parkinson’s Disease in the wearer, providing actionable information for personalisation of treatment by clinicians, and better symptom management for the patient.

Working alongside the team, the leading audio AI innovator, audEERING, has developed a novel audio AI model based on its proven technology that can automatically detect vocal changes associated with Parkinson’s Disease with a high degree of accuracy, empowering Emteq to incorporate this voice analysis into its product and thus provide an additional biomarker for enhanced detection and therapy.

The smart glasses will be subject to a clinical trial in the second half of 2019 with planned availability in 2020.

This initiative has been made possible by the award of a grant by InnovateUK under the Health and Life Sciences Fund 2017.

Graeme Cox, chief executive at Emteq, said: “By adding vocal biomarker analysis to our emotion AI platform, this collaboration will provide significant value to our drive to monitor key symptom levels in Parkinson’s Disease.

“Voice analysis provides important information on physical and emotional wellbeing and audEERING is a leader in this field.”

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Dagmar Schuller of audEERING added: "We are deeply committed to our work in the medical sector with our audio and emotionAI. This allows a completely-new dimension with detecting and treating certain diseases, especially in the field of neurocognitive disorders where very-early stages are often shown in speech. We can detect such anomalies very early which allows an enhanced treatment and therapy.”