An innovation that may allow voice disorder patients to speak again An innovation that may allow voice disorder patients to speak again

An innovation that may allow voice disorder patients to speak again

An innovation that may allow voice disorder patients to speak again

American researchers have revealed a new adhesive patch that could help people with voice disorders speak again.
The skin patch converts laryngeal muscle movements into electrical signals, which in turn are translated into speech by a machine learning algorithm.

The patch works without the need to pick up the vibrations of a person's vocal cords, which means it will help restore the ability to speak in people with vocal cord damage, lead study author Xiuan Qi, from the University of California, Los Angeles, told AFP.

The waterproof patch is approximately the size of a large coin, and weighs only 7 grams. 

To test it, eight volunteers without vocal disorders were asked to speak and whisper five sentences including “Happy Birthday,” “I love you,” or “I don’t trust you.”

They read the phrases while standing, walking and running, to reveal the action of the patch during movement, which accurately predicted what the volunteers would say about 95% of the time.

It may be difficult for the vamp to distinguish between some words that move the throat muscles in a similar way, such as "make" and "mark," according to Chi.

Qi cautioned that the prototype is still years away from being available to patients. It is recognized that all sentences that can currently be played by the patch must be pre-recorded. But he believes that more advanced algorithms will allow the patch to translate laryngeal muscle movements “without having to record audio signals beforehand.”

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

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