Thammasat University came up with the most accurate application to screen Alzheimer’s disease using voice

Thammasat University came up with the most accurate application to screen Alzheimer’s disease using voice.

Thammasat University came up with the most accurate application to screen Alzheimer’s disease. It is to save cost and help the patient’s relatives and the hospital itself as well as to support senior society. It has actually been in practice now at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital.

Thammasat University has invented application “the automatic screening of Alzheimer’s disease and mild Cognitive Impairment using voice” via smartphones. The result is calculated within 30 minutes. It has now actually been in practice now at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital. It has been found that the use of application is 99% of accuracy and greatly helps the patients anf the hospital to save cost.

The application belongs to Associate Professor Dr. Charturong Tantibundhit, lecturer at Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, who was the leader of the research team and received Gold Medal with Mention from International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva No.45 at Geneva, Switzerland in April, 2017.

Associate Professor Dr. Charturong stated that at present Thailand is stepping into senior society; according to 5 researches of National Statistical Office, number of senior in Thailand has been obviously increased. The latest research in 2014 showed that from the total number of population in Thailand at 66 million, there is 14.9% of seniors or about 10 millions. This is in accordance with the data from Foundation of Thai Gerontology Research and Development institute in 2015 stating that in 5 years ahead or in 2021, the proportion of seniors will increase more than 20% which means Thailand will completely step into senior society. Besides, within less than 20 years, Thailand will be super-aged society with the proportion of seniors at 28% out of all population.

It has been found that seniors aged above 50 years old at 50-70% are facing Alzheimer’s which is the cause of Dementia. Some are unaware of themselves or it is too late for some to get the proper treatment because of premature brain death. Their life quality can get worse and bring more difficulty to their relatives. Besides, there are problems of taking long time and high cost to screen as well as the insufficient number of medical specialists in the remote hospitals.

Therefore, the university has come up with the application “the automatic screening of Alzheimer’s disease and mild Cognitive Impairment using voice”. The patients will be answering 21 questions within 20 minutes. These questions, especially in Thai, are made suitable for Thai contents and to cover all aspects such as Orientation asking about time and places at the moment, Intention and Calculation asking to subtract numbers 7 each time backwards, Memory asking address and names, Language asking names of things, Verbal description ability asking to tell stories or explain situations from pictures given etc.

When finishing all questions, the voices to answer will be analyzed. The aspects for the analysis include both signal characteristics like Fundamental, Intensity, pause, pattern of speech etc. and the characteristics of using different word types like Noun, Pronoun, Verb, Adjective etc.

Then, the Artificial Intelligence will evaluate the result into 3 levels; normal condition, mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s which can save much more time in calculating the result than before (it was 2-3 hours and only 70-90% accuracy). More importantly, it can save cost for the patients and save hospitals’ budget spent on screening machines as well as save time in screening (usually 30 minutes). This results in the research team trying to develop the faster system’s evaluation and the support to other languages in order to make the application inclusive and available to other groups of patients.

The use of application is 99% of accuracy and via smartphones.

Such research is Integrated Research with Dr. Solaphat Hemrungrojn Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Dr. Chutamanee Onsuwan, English and Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, and and Dr. Krit Kosawat, NECTEC. It has actually been in practice now at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital. It has been proud to say that his work is not just providing benefits to medical field in Thailand, the researchers were to receive the Gold Medal with Mention from International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva No.45 at Geneva, Switzerland in April, 2017, concluded Associate Professor Dr. Charturong.

Credit: www.hfocus.org

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