July 2024: Innovation in the Fight Against Voice Disorders

Speaking without vocal cords, thanks to a new AI-assisted wearable device.

Image Credits: Jun Chen Lab/UCLA

There are many medical wearable innovations every month, but this one stands out. Voice disorders are common in all age and demographic groups, research has shown that almost 30% of people will experience at least one such disorder in their lifetime. Jun Hen, an assistant professor of bioengineering, and his colleagues at University of California Los Angeles Engineering have invented a thin, flexible device that attaches to the skin outside the throat and translates the muscle movements of the larynx into audible speech. This device could help people with voice disorders, including those with pathological voice disorders or those recovering from laryngeal cancer surgery or generally all people who lost the ability to speak. The device is trained through machine learning to recognize which muscle in your throat moves with which word. These signals are then translated into audible speech with an accuracy of around 95%.

About UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

The university was founded in 1945, with the goal to bring together the disciplines of medicine and engineering and bridge the gap between university and industry, focusing on the discovery of useful technologies and tools to improve the quality of the nation's healthcare.

Sam Draper
July 1, 2024

July 2024

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