Israeli MedTech startup Vocalis Health, which develops AI-powered medical vocal biomarkers, announced that it was teaming up with U.S.-based medical academic center Mayo Clinic. The collaboration will center around identifying vocal biomarkers for pulmonary hypertension (PH) which could help physicians better detect and treat PH in their patients.

Making your voice heard could benefit your health

Vocalis Health’s platform works pretty straight forward. At first, patients are encouraged to record their voices using the company’s API, then the voice records are transferred to the cloud, where the data is analyzed by an AI-driven diagnosis tool, and then sent in real-time to the treating physician with actionable insight regarding the patient’s medical condition. According to the company, tens of thousands of patients are already being monitored and treated using its voice-based technology that is based on over 1 million recordings used for AI training.

In a previous trial with Vocalis Health, the Mayo research team established a relationship between certain vocal characteristics and PH. In this new collaboration, Mayo will conduct a prospective clinical validation study to further develop PH vocal biomarkers. The clinical validation will utilize Vocalis Health’s proprietary software, which can operate on any connected voice platform (mobile, computer, tablet, etc.), and analyzes patients’ health based on voice recordings. Following this initial phase, researchers will work to identify vocal biomarkers targeting additional diseases, symptoms and conditions.

“We have seen the clinical benefits of voice analysis for patient screening throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and this collaboration presents an opportunity for us to continue broadening our research, beginning with pulmonary hypertension,” said Tal Wenderow, CEO of Vocalis Health. “Voice analysis has the potential to help physicians make more informed decisions about their patients in a non-invasive, cost-effective manner. We believe this technology could have important clinical implications for telemedicine and remote patient monitoring in the very near future. We are excited to work with Mayo Clinic and have already started planning clinical trials for additional indications.”

Pulmonary hypertension is a severe condition causing high blood pressure in the lungs, but as the symptoms are similar to other heart and lung conditions, it is often not detected in routine physical exams. While traditional blood tests can sometimes detect pulmonary hypertension, it frequently goes undiagnosed. This strategic collaboration aims to provide an alternative and highly scalable method to check patients for PH, using only a recording of the patient’s voice, to understand their health and the progression of the disease.

According to Dr. Amir Lerman from Mayo Clinic, due to the somewhat mysterious and often undiagnosed nature of the disease, this new technology could help "the majority of patients with pulmonary hypertension, who remain asymptomatic at the initial phase of the disease. This new technology has the potential to detect and screen individuals and patients with pulmonary hypertension remotely, from a distance, using noninvasive, nonintrusive and inexpensive technology."