The technology industry has evolved so much that a variety of devices are now used to assist the healthcare sector. Researchers at the University of Maryland in the United States are creating an application that can detect depression from the sound of the voice.
According to researchers, a person’s voice changes when they are depressed and that those who have this disease tend to express themselves and speak more slowly. For this reason, they are developing an application capable of detecting the sound of the voice using artificial intelligence that will help to find depression.
The project is led by Carol Espy-Wilson, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university. During the 180th Meeting of the American Acoustics Society, the researcher discussed how the state of mental health of a person is reflected in the coordination of speech gestures and took the opportunity to announce the development of the application.
The app has no name yet and is in the early stages of development. However, Carol Espy-Wilson has noted that it would be recommended to patients to help them monitor them in their therapy sessions.
“Ideally, therapists will give the application to those patients who suffer from a major depressive disorder when they are in remission or if they only have mild depression,” said the professor.
The app uses machine learning, a technique that involves simulating the brain’s neural networks to detect subtle changes in speech patterns. To do this, the user will log in to the application for mobile devices and will then have to respond by voice to a series of basic questions about their status.
The user will record their responses verbally, and the application, through the smartphone, can capture video of the user while he talks, as long as the camera is turned on.
In this way, machine learning techniques will be able to assess the mental well-being of the patient. In addition, specialists will also be able to observe your articulatory coordination, facial movements and language to be able to determine the severity of the depression illness that you suffer.
Patients could use the app from home to send video and audio updates on their mood. The app will then evaluate it to help keep both the user and those around them informed of any worrisome changes.
Despite being still in development, researchers are already working on new functions to better fine-tune the application and also be able to measure the severity of depression.