Alzheimer, a startup looks for the first signs of the disease in the voice

Alzheimer, a startup looks for the first signs of the disease in the voice


Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people suffer from Alzheimer's disease and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. These pathologies are still underdiagnosed or identified too late to allow optimal intervention. The startup Accexible is trying to change that, based on the premise that the first signs of some pathologies can be detected – or rather heard – in a person's voice.

" Accexible operates at the intersection of neuroscience, linguistics and mathematics, "said Carla Zaldua Aguirre, CEO of the company last March during the British edition of Health (in Italy, the business conference dedicated to the world of health was held in Milan on 22 March). Accessible's product - which is accessible via computer, app or phone - linguistically analyzes a person's words and the way they express themselves to identify changes that could indicate the presence of an underlying problem. Aguirre promises 90 percent accuracy and results in minutes. The idea is that the application could be used by general practitioners as a screening test and by neurologists to monitor their patients' progress over time.

Accexible said its application is already used by 10,000 patients and forty doctors in five different markets. The company is also conducting pilot projects in Spain, Colombia and the UK. In the case of a patient experiencing a memory impairment, a doctor can use the technology to screen them and, if necessary, refer them to a specialized clinic for further investigation.

"There is a pre-clinical stage of Alzheimer's in which you don't see the symptoms but there are biological biomarkers," explains Aguirre. The company is trying to figure out whether its model can also predict levels of amyloid-beta, the protein that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. It is Aguirre's hope that Accexible will be able to detect a number of conditions, thereby speeding up access to treatment.

This article originally appeared on UK.