AI

Empowering People with Impaired Speech through AI

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The ability to communicate and be understood is a privilege that is often taken for granted. For those who suffer from neurological conditions such as ALS, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and Parkinson’s disease, impaired speech limits how they can express needs and engage with those around them. However, with the advancement of voice-enabled tech and artificial intelligence, Google AI seeks to empower those with speech impairments by improving a computer’s ability to understand diverse speech patterns.

Project Euphonia, part of the AI for Social Good program, uses specialized software to turn recorded voice samples into a spectrogram, or a visual representation of the sound. Common transcribed spectrograms are used to "train" the system to better recognize less common types of speech patterns. Those with severe disability or nonverbal individuals also benefit from this project given that Google’s personalized AI algorithms are simultaneously working to detect facial movements and gestures. Euphonia can then take actions such as generating spoken commands to Google Home or sending text messages. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to support people with impaired speech and empower them to communicate freely and effectively. 

Oscar Health Partners with Cardiogram to Bring Health Detection Technology to Members

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Health care insurers are increasingly using wearables to engage and monitor the health and wellness of their members. For example, Aetna’s Attain and UnitedHealthcare’s Motion programs incentivizes beneficiaries to perform tasks designed to improve their health. Oscar Health’s new partnership with smartwatch app maker Cardiogram takes a different approach by improving access to care for those at risk of developing chronic conditions. Oscar Health is able to more effectively manage the health of its members through early disease detection by leveraging Cardiogram’s clinically proven artificial intelligence technology.  

Oscar beneficiaires will be able to download and use Cardiogram Care on their smartwatch for free. After uploading the necessary insurance information, each user will be monitored for signs of diabetes and atrial fibrillation. If symptoms are detected, users will need to take further tests to confirm the diagnosis. If a previously undiagnosed condition is confirmed, the app will be able to refer the user to in-network physicians. As wearables slowly become more prevalent, having a clinical workflow leveraging smart devices can have dramatic implications on how we access care in the future.

IBM Watson Health and Leading Hospitals Invest $50M to Accelerate AI Development

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While artificial intelligence is a buzzword within the healthcare industry, there is a lack of real-world solutions aimed at ameliorating major public health issues. To spur the advancement of AI technology for the healthcare industry, IBM Watson Health has announced a 10-year, $50M investment in research collaborations with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

A key area of focus will be studying how AI can utilize electronic health records and claims data to address public health issues such as precision medicine, health equity, and patient safety. Additional research will be conducted to explore the physician and patient user experience with AI technologies. The collaboration will combine IBM Watson’s expertise in artificial intelligence with the “best health informatics researchers in the world,” in hopes of accelerating the development of real-world AI-solutions “to improve the utility of the EHR and claims data to address major public health issues.”