TORONTO, September 9, 2021
Winterlight Labs, in collaboration with Dr. Anthony Yeung, published a new review paper summarizing the utility of speech-based measures to inform our understanding of depression symptoms in older adults. The review is part of a peer-reviewed article collection focused on Artificial Intelligence in Geriatric Mental Health Research and Clinical Care in the journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry.
Late-life depression (LLD) is a major public health concern but diagnosis can be difficult due to varying symptom presentations and the presence of medical comorbidities, among other factors. To help overcome these limitations, there has been a growing interest in the development of objective measures of LLD using quantitative speech and natural language processing (NLP) methods. The review summarizes recent research aimed at understanding speech alterations in LLD and discusses future directions for improving NLP strategies to fully capture the spectrum of LLD symptoms.
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