TORONTO, April 7, 2021
Winterlight Labs presented two posters at the 17th annual meeting of the International Society for CNS Clinical Trials and Methodology. Presentations highlighted recent projects on the analytical and clinical validation of their speech assessment technology to study language abilities in older adults.
In the first study, both the analytical validity (i.e. how accurate are the automated scores?) and clinical validity (i.e. are the scores sensitive to clinical differences?) of Winterlight’s digital language assessments were tested. This was done by comparing digital assessment scores to the scores of trained human raters, and by comparing the scores of cognitively healthy individuals to those with mild cognitive impairment. In a second study, variations in speech and language based on demographic factors including age, gender and education were examined. Together, this research helps validate the use of digital speech assessments, and provides insight into which speech tasks and scores are best suited to detect early signs of cognitive impairment.
Winterlight Labs is commercializing a proprietary language-based diagnostic system that analyzes natural speech to detect and monitor dementia, Alzheimer’s, aphasia, and various other cognitive conditions. Winterlight's scalable platform uses short recorded speech samples to analyze hundreds of linguistic cues, and can detect dementia and other conditions with a high level of accuracy. This is a major improvement over current pencil-and-paper tests which are time-consuming, costly, and difficult to administer. The platform has applications in drug trials, long-term and primary care, and speech-language pathology.
Since its founding, Winterlight Labs has seen strong interest from pharmaceutical companies and other potential partners who view the technology as a major improvement over current methods of detection or screening. The company has gained support from the pan-Canadian AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE), the Ontario Brain Institute, Ontario Centres of Excellence, and the University of Toronto Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.winterlightlabs.com.
Liam Kaufman, CEO
liam [at] winterlightlabs.com