Two artificial intelligence companies are working on a pair of technology-imbued spectacles designed to track the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms.
UK start-up Emteq and Munich-based audEERING, both of which specialise in technology designed to track emotional responses, will collaborate on a device that will use facial tracking and vocal analysis to track “key physical indicators” of Parkinson’s disease.
Emteq designs sensor-laden wearable devices capable of tracking facial expression, which are interpreted by the company’s AI platform to gauge emotional responses.
AudEERING, meanwhile, is an audio analysis firm that uses machine intelligence and deep learning techniques to determine the emotional state of the speaker.
The ‘smart’ glasses will combine Emteq’s hardware and emotion-tracking technology with an AI model developed by audEERING said to be capable of detecting vocal changes associated with Parkinson’s Disease.
It has been proposed that machine learning can be programmed to identify combinations of voice characteristics, or changes in a subject’s voice, that can indicate the presence of a developing neurological disorder.
It is hoped the glasses will pick up on “anomalies” in speech indicative of Parkinson’s that might otherwise go undetected.
“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,” said Dagmar Schuller, CEO at audEERING.
The glasses will be subject to a clinical trial in the second half of 2019, with commercial availability planned for 2020.
The initiative has been made possible by the award of a grant by InnovateUK under the Health and Life Sciences Fund 2017.
Graeme Cox, CEO 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.”
Earlier this year, British AI firm announced it would lend its tech to Parkinson’s UK and the Cure Parkinson’s Trust in an attempt to find new treatments for the disease.