Belfast Based Startup to Develop a Mobile App, Harnessing Artificial Intelligence, to Provide Communication Tool for Voice-Impaired Patients

LiopaLiopa, a spin out of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) has announced that it is to deliver a prototype patient/carer communications aid. It will be used by tracheostomy patients in critical care environments.

Working along with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Queen's University Belfast, Liopa will develop SRAVI (Speech Recognition App for the Voice Impaired). Compared to the limited alternatives available, SRAVI will provide an easy-to-use, accurate and cost effective method for communication between these patients, their family members and healthcare staff. SRAVI will integrate with LipRead, Liopa's artificial intelligence engine for Visual Speech Recognition.

This initial project will focus at a select group of patients with tracheostomies (approximately 10,000 tracheostomies are performed annually in the UK) who currently struggle to vocalise but can move their lips normally. Whilst the initial prototype will support a limited vocabulary in English, the application can be further developed to support larger vocabularies across multiple languages.

Clinical Professor Danny McAuley at QUB's Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine and Consultant at the Belfast Trust commented, "The inability to communicate during an ICU stay is a major source of morbidity for patients, family and staff. A patient's non-verbal attempts to communicate are often difficult to understand which can be frustrating for patients and carers. This novel approach may allow better communication between the patient, staff and family from an early stage."

"This is an innovative application of our proven AI-based Visual Speech Recognition (VSR) system LipRead. LipRead analyses and translates lip movements into recognisable words. The technology allows the translation of lip movement to text using a mobile app on a mobile device which will need very little training and is inexpensive," said Liam McQuillan, Co-founder and CEO, Liopa. He continued, "SRAVI can be deployed on commodity smartphones and tablets, that can be used by multiple patients. Alternative technologies, such as ‘eye-gaze’ systems, require bespoke hardware and are generally much more expensive."

Shondipon Laha, Consultant in Critical Care and Anaesthesia, Lancashire Teaching Hospital, explained further, "This project will address a government priority to implement new digital solutions in the NHS. SRAVI will deliver improved patient-carer communications for patients with tracheostomies, thus reducing rehabilitation times in expensive ICU settings."

The project will run for 9 months and will include an evaluation phase, carried out in hospital critical care environments in Lancashire and Belfast. It has been funded by UK Research and Innovation - a new organisation that brings together the UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England. This single organisation creates the best environment for research and innovation to flourish, to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

For further information, please visit:
https://liopa.ai

About Liopa

The company was spun out of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) in 2015. Since then Liopa has been onward developing and commercialising research carried out within the university into the use of Lip Movements (visemes) in Speech Recognition. The company is leveraging QUB’s renowned excellence in the area of speech, speaker and dialogue modelling to position Liopa as a leading independent provider of viseme-based VSR technology.

Most Popular Now

Researchers Capture First Images of Oxyg…

Oxygen in cancer tumors is known to be a major factor that helps radiation therapy be successful. Hypoxia, or starvation of oxygen, in solid tumors is also thought to be...

A New Method of Artificial Intelligence …

Despite the immense progress in the field of AI in recent years, we are still very far from human intelligence. Indeed, if current AI techniques allow to train computer agents...

PatchAi Startup has Arrived in the Marke…

PatchAi - a startup that offers, thanks to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, an empathic virtual assistant to patients participating in clinical trials - announced that it has closed two...

NHS IT Chiefs Set the Stage for a Year o…

3 - 4 March 2019, London, United Kingdom. NHS technology leaders are to kick off the second-ever Digital Health Rewired Conference and Exhibition on 3 - 4 March at the Olympia...

Digital Health App Medicus AI Earns CE C…

Medicus AI, the Vienna-based health tech company, has received a ​Class I Medical Device CE Mark for its mobile application. The CE certification mark confirms that Medicus AI conforms to...

Siemens Healthineers Presents Solutions …

CT scanners with intelligent user guidance, AI-based software assistants for MRI and a lab system that revolutionizes workflows: Siemens Healthineers is showcasing its products and solutions according to the motto...

FDA Authorizes Marketing of First Cardia…

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized marketing of software to assist medical professionals in the acquisition of cardiac ultrasound, or echocardiography, images. The software, called Caption Guidance, is...

Human Body-on-Chip Platform Enables In V…

Drug development is an extremely arduous and costly process, and failure rates in clinical trials that test new drugs for their safety and efficacy in humans remain very high. According...

Portable Lab You Plug into Your Phone ca…

Engineers with the University of Cincinnati have created a tiny portable lab that plugs into your phone, connecting it automatically to a doctor's office through a custom app UC developed...

Helping Patients with Binge Eating Disor…

Behavioral therapy assisted by a smartphone app, delivered via telemedicine by a health coach, was an effective treatment for several symptoms of binge eating disorders, according to a study conducted...

SCCE's 8th Annual ECEI - European Compli…

16 - 18 March 2019, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The European Compliance & Ethics Institute is the place to discuss compliance challenges and strategies with your peers from healthcare and across industry...