Vocal Biomarkers – Listening in to Your Body
Sound vibrations are used as part of therapeutic healing for various mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Recent research studies, however, have greatly broadened its application into diagnosis of diseases. Biomarkers in the voice of a person have been linked to disorders such as depression, coronary artery disease, and anxiety. On successful completion of clinical trials, HIPAA compliant vocal biomarker system would serve as much more effective alternative to current diagnostic techniques such as MRI, X-Ray, and CT scan. Research is also underway for identifying vocal biomarkers in diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, cognitive impairment, and respiratory disorders, which would open up a highly lucrative avenue for growth for players in this industry. Companies dealing with voice technology are sampling data to provide accurate results. For instance, Beyond Verbal, Inc. has been researching on vocal biomarkers since 1996, and has collected over 2.5 million voice samples in over 40 different languages.
While currently in its very nascent stage with an estimated value of US$ 6.4 million in 2017, the global vocal biomarkers market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 65.7% during the forecast period (2017 – 2028).
Figure 1. Global Vocal Biomarkers Market Size and Forecast, US$ Million and Y-o-Y Growth (%), 2017–2028
Source: Coherent Market Insights Analysis (2017)
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Growing Psychological and Cardiovascular Disease Prevalence: A Highly Conducive Growth Environment
Around 350 million people across the globe suffered from depression (WHO, 2016) and approximately 10 million people suffered from Parkinson’s disease globally (Parkinson’s disease Foundation, 2016). Over 235 million people suffered from asthma globally (2016), according to the European Respiratory Society. Diagnosis of these diseases is expensive and thus, is out of reach for most people in emerging economies. This results in high mortality rates in these regions. Vocal biomarker technology systems would act as an ideal cost-effective primary diagnostic tool that could help discern if the patient needs to further opt for expensive X-Ray/MRI/CT/EEG/ECG scans. Thus, millions of suffering from these chronic ailments explicates large potential for vocal biomarkers technology in the commercial space in the long run. Moreover, alterative conventionally used diagnostic systems need to adhere to stringent regulations pertaining to radiation. On the other hand, voice-based systems are based on technology that does not subject the user to any form of radiation and thus, is expected to gain significant traction in the near future.
Rising Demand for Minimally Invasive Techniques to Support the Progress of Vocal Biomarkers Market
Though MRI, CT, X-Ray and ECG, are minimally invasive technologies, they are out of reach for remotely located population. Also, patients prefer minimally invasive procedures as these allow for speedy recovery post procedure. Moreover, high costs of these tests results in substantial healthcare burden for governments and insurance companies alike. Vocal biomarkers is a non-invasive technology and provides great simplicity to an individual. This is therefore analyzed to provide a competitive edge over existing diagnostic technologies that lack the capability to carry preventive diagnosis. Furthermore, this extremely user-friendly system falls perfectly in line with increasing self-diagnosis and self-medication trend, which would significantly fuel demand for vocal biomarkers.
Strategic Collaborations to Decrease the Turnaround Time for Commercialization of Products
Mr. Charles Marmar (Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, New York University's Langone Medical Center), is conducting a five year study to identify vocal biomarkers for diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSB), and depression. Initial studies have identified 30 vocal characteristics that seem to be associated with TBI and PTSB. Mr. Marmar has collaborated with SRI International (a non-profit research institute based in California), to identify vocal biomarkers. Beyond Verbal, Inc. is working with Mayo Clinic, Haddassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Scripps, and Tel Aviv University to expand its vocal biomarker’s research into healthcare sector.
A person’s voice can serve as an extremely useful tool in identifying the temperament and presence or risk of any disorders such as depression, Parkinson’s disease, and coronary artery disease. Factoring this, scientists from research institutes and companies (dealing with voice and speech technology) are partnering to identify vocal biomarkers that can aid in accurate diagnosis of diseases. Vocal biomarkers technology could be a disruptive innovation in the field of medical diagnostics, allowing for minimally-invasive diagnostic procedures to detect serious conditions. Beyond Verbal, Inc. Cogito Corporation, and Sonde Health are developing a voice-based platform to diagnose mental and physical health of a person. The projected success of the market mainly hinges upon the R&D conducted by these major companies.
Still in the clinical stage, the global vocal biomarkers technology would transform the way we mental and physical health is diagnosed and would transform the healthcare industry. This voice-based technology would allow for early diagnosis of diseases and accordingly help in taking preventive measures. This can significantly benefit military, hospitals and health clinics, and also individuals to monitor health and take appropriate medical action.
Collaborative efforts across different ecosystem players are bringing positive traction in global vocal biomarkers market. Sonde Health obtained technology license from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory for the latter’s voice-based technology platform intended for monitoring and diagnosis of various mental and physical conditions. Beyond Verbal, Inc. collaborated with Mayo Clinic in 2016 to conduct studies and identify the vocal biomarkers that could help in diagnosing mental and physical health.
This report segments the vocal biomarkers market on the basis of application and end users. On the basis of application the vocal biomarkers market is segmented into psychological disorders, respiratory disorders and cardiovascular disorders. End users of this technology as covered in the report are hospitals, academic & research institutes, health insurers, and military. The market potential for vocal biomarkers has been analyzed across major geographies, namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.
Key features of the study:
“*” marked represents similar segmentation in other categories in the respective section.
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