Can your voice predict if you’re at risk for heart disease?
New study connects vocal features to coronary artery disease.
New technology that can track human emotions may soon be able to offer much more than that.
That's all thanks to Beyond Verbal, a voice analytics company based in Israel. The company just announced the results of a joint study with the U.S.-based Mayo Clinic that discovered a possible link between voice characteristics and heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease (CAD).
In the study they used a smartphone app developed by Beyond Verbal to measure the voice signals of 120 people prior to a coronary angiograph. Patients were asked to recite and record a prepared text as well as one positive and one negative experience they'd had in their lives.
The study identified one voice feature associated with a 19-fold increased likelihood of coronary artery disease.
Beyond Verbal said that the vocal features that indicate heart disease are so quiet as to be imperceptible to humans.
“What it sounds like specifically is not something that can be articulated, it’s not something that the human ear can detect,” said Beyond Verbal CEO Yuval Mor, an alumnus of Tel Aviv University. “It’s similar to eyesight in that we can see a certain spectrum, but much more exists.”
Beyond Verbal, which was founded in Israel in 2012, has developed technology that enables machines to understand human emotions by analyzing raw voice intonations as people speak. So far it has released two consumer-facing apps, Moodie and Empath, and one for clinicians.
The company's previous research has also suggested a link between voice signal characteristics and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and autism, but this is the first study to link them to a pulmonary disease.
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