Presentation Title: Utilization of Speech Analysis as a Diagnostic Tool to Objectively Evaluate Early Signs of Medical Conditions and Recovery
Author Name(s): Michael A. Stokes
Author Department and School Affiliation: Waveform Communication, LLC
Abstract: The Waveform Model of Vowel Perception and Production explains the intricate coordination of the lips and tongue for the production of American English vowels. When a person misses the typical articulatory targets or timing of vowel productions, this can be reflective of a neurological or physical impairment. In collaboration with Methodist Sports Medicine, patients were recorded to identify patterns indicative of neurological impairment from concussion. With Regenstrief Institute, speech recordings were added to an observational study conducted to monitor and detect the onset of altered level of consciousness and delirium in patients after a major non-cardiac thoracic surgery. Each of the 45 concussion subjects, 16 delirium study subjects, and 20 control subjects were recorded on at least 2 separate days allowing for the talker’s speech to be compared to their own productions to investigate differences that may reflect impairment and recovery. Over 4,000 vowels produced in coarticulatory neutral h-vowel-d words (had, hid, etc.), and over 150,000 rows of data of impaired speech have been collected across the studies. The results have been enlightening and indicative of impairment providing motivation for both studies to go beyond the pilot, and other medical conditions are being considered for study including COVID-19.