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    University of Notre Dame launches research study to explore speech acoustics as a biomarker for ALS and Parkinson’s Disease

    Mayo Clinic, Hospital for Special Care will use the SpeechLight mobile app to collect data on over 100 PD and ALS patients

    Chicago, IL, September 19, 2018 – SpeechLight, a developer of mobile apps and cloud-based software for the assessment and diagnosis of neurogenic speech disorders, announced today that its latest app will be used in a new research study that will investigate speech acoustics may as a biomarker for Parkinson’s Disease and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). 

    During the study, 100participants, including 20 healthy controls, will be evaluated by expert speech language pathologists (SLPs) at sites including the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), Hospital for Special Care (New Britain, CT), and other hospitals, clinics, and specialty rehabilitation centers.  Investigators will use the SpeechLight mobile app to conduct a full oral motor exam, a medical history questionairre, and run a battery of industry-standard speech tasks for each participant over the course of the participant’s normal treatment schedule.  Speech samples, collected on the mobile device, will be uploaded to the cloud-based data repository at the University of Notre Dame, where researchers will use SpeechLight’s analysis software and machine learning algorithms to analyze the acoustic data from the speech samples and identify acoustic patterns among Parkinson’s and ALS patients.

    The researchers are scheduled to present results from the study at the ASHA National Convention in Boston, MA, November 15-17, 2018. 

    “At Hospital for Special Care, we see over 275 patients with ALS and over 250 patients with Parkinson’s disease.  We have a large unmet need for effective and systematic tools that help us improve our assessment efficiency and obtain a better understanding of these diseases,” said Kim Winter, MA CCC-SLP, at Hospital for Special Care.  “I’ve used the SpeechLight PaTaKa DDK app and can see the potential for this type of mobile software to transform how we assess and diagnose our patients.  We are thrilled to support this research project.”

    Investigators will use a pre-release v2.0 of the SpeechLight mobile app, which consists of a full Oral Motor Exam, plus 11 industry-standard speech tasks including Sustained Vowel, Grandfather Passage, Picture Description, Monosyllabic words, and others.  The app also includes an enhanced version of the company’s PaTaka DDK (diadochokinetic) test, which is available for iPhone or iPad today in the app store.   

    For more information, please email

    About SpeechLight

    SpeechLight develops mobile and cloud-based software that improve a clinician’s ability to assess and diagnose speech disorders and other conditions related to brain health, through the analysis of speech biomarkers.   By combining advances in speech recognition, mobile, and cloud-based software with leading industry research, SpeechLight empowers clinicians to exponentially improve outcomes for patients with speech and neurocognitive disorders, through more timely, more objective and more collaborative insights.  Visit for more information.

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