The Global Vocal Biomarkers Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 6.4 million by 2017 and is projected to expand at an astounding CAGR of 65.7% from 2017 to 2028, as analyzed by Coherent Market Insights. Vocal biomarkers enabling early diagnosis and being a non-invasive procedure are analyzed to be major factor fueling uptake of this disruptive technology over the forecast period (2017–2028).
Mental and physical conditions such as anxiety and Parkinson’s disease can make one slur his/her words, speak in a more nasal tone, and elongate sounds. Various companies involved in sales activities across industries and call centers deploy voice analysis systems to understand the temperament of the respondent. Cogito Corporation’s voice analysis software is used by Humana, Inc. Blue Cross Blue Shield Associational and Smartmedical Corporation’s Empath voice-based technology has been used by NTT Docomo, and Philips for emotional analytic and characterizing respondent’s mood.
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Beyond Verbal, Inc., Cogito Corporation, IBM Corporation, and Sonde Health are involved in extensive R&D to establish a link between vocal biomarkers and disease condition(s). Depression is a very common disorder globally, with approximately 350 million people suffering from it (WHO, 2016). Successful identification of early signs of depression using a vocal biomarker system is anticipated to significantly help physicians to recommend specific preventive measures to the patient.
Free mobile applications such as Moodies and Empath (by Beyond Verbal, Inc.) offer features that analyze emotional state of an individual, enabling users to identify their mood during their most recent phone conversation. Health insurers such as Humana, Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and Aetna, Inc. are leveraging vocal biomarkers to detect stress and depression in callers. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs deploys Cogito software to detect signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among soldiers. Realizing the robust future revenue potential from emotional analytics, leaders across the globe (companies and universities) are conducting research in order to capitalize upon the various health benefits offered by speech and voice technology. In November 2016, Mayo Clinic released the outcome of its study on vocal biomarkers which established a correlation between certain voice features and the likelihood of a coronary artery disease.
Strategic collaborations among universities and existing players in order to decrease turnaround time for commercialization of the products is the recent trend observed in this industry. In June 2016, Sonde Health in-licensed the voice-based technology platform from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory. This technology has been developed for effective diagnosis and monitoring of mental and physical health conditions. The U.S. army collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) in 2016 to develop an algorithm to identify vocal biomarkers that can diagnose traumatic brain injury.
Smartmedical Corp. (Japan) and Planet Healers (India) have commercialized a voice-based platform that can diagnose health conditions based on the voice of the user. While, Smartmedical’s Empath is majorly used in analyzing mood, Planet Healer’s ‘Voice Analysis’ technology platform is intended for the diagnosis of user’s health condition. Such products are expected to pave way for extensive application of vocal biomarkers across various industries. Moreover, use of vocal biomarkers to diagnose health conditions in children can prove to be a high potential application area in not so distant future.
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