TORONTO, November 4, 2021
Winterlight Labs is excited to announce four new academic collaborations to analyze speech and how it relates to cognitive and mental health! In partnership with four different research groups in the US and Canada, we are implementing our Winterlight technology to study how speech can be used to provide insight into mood disorders, schizophrenia, essential tremor and hepatic encephalopathy.
Our collaboration with McMaster University aims to assess whether vocal biomarkers can help to detect individuals with mood disorders and suicide risk. This research will be conducted in partnership with Dr. Flavio Kapczinski and team from the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences and will provide an opportunity to enhance our growing research program aimed at the development and validation of digital speech measures in mood disorders.
Winterlight technology will also be used in a new study led by Dr. Farooq Naeem and co-led by Dr. Anthony Yeung from The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). This project will explore the utility of speech as a predictor of psychotic relapse in young adults with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders. As speech and language alterations are a hallmark of psychosis, individuals will be followed over the course of a year to better characterize these changes relative to fluctuating clinical symptoms.
In collaboration with Dr. Jenny Rabin at the Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation at the Sunnybrook Research Institute, we will examine how speech is affected in individuals with essential tremor. Dr. Rabin and her team will use the Winterlight speech assessment to assess speech and language abilities in individuals undergoing magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound treatment, before and after intervention. We hope to discover novel insights into how speech is affected by essential tremor and treatments for this condition.
Following up on our work showing that slowed speech occurs in cases of hepatic encephalopathy, we are looking forward to building on this work in another collaboration with Dr. Patricia Bloom at the University of Michigan. Dr. Bloom’s research group will study speech patterns in patients with cirrhosis longitudinally, to determine if at-home speech assessments can be used to monitor patient health and predict episodes of overt hepatic encephalopathy.
To learn more about these projects, or if you have a question about how speech analytics can be used in your research, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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