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Ulster University and Canary Speech, Inc have formed a new strategic partnership by sponsoring a PhD researcher in the School of Computing and School of Psychology to study how voice technology can be used to identify vocal biomarkers in speech as an indicator of mental health and wellbeing in young people.

Philip Donaghy, the Ulster PhD researcher who will be assisting in the joint venture between Canary Speech and Ulster University, has a breadth of experience making him qualified for this position. Donaghy will successfully run a clinical trial to assess the efficacy of the Canary Speech technology for cognitive and behavioral health monitoring, make meaningful contributions to the field of speech analysis for mental health support and assessment that can play a critical part in alleviating the burden of mental, neurological, substance use disorders, and self-harm.

AI voice technology is the future of healthcare innovation and I'm thrilled to be a part of this strategic partnership with Canary Speech and Ulster University,” said Phillip Donaghy, PhD researcher. “Our end goal is to support the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

This joint venture has the shared goal of using this cutting-edge technology to provide better client care and outcomes in young people by performing a clinical study assessing vocal biomarkers as an indicator of young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Eddie Friel, said:

“The University is delighted to have secured support from Canary Speech, a globally recognised company, to undertake further research in this vital area. The project, which will enable health professionals to make more informed decisions and improve the quality of care for young people, aligns perfectly with the University’s research expertise and other initiatives promoting positive mental health and wellbeing at Ulster University.”

Canary’s patented technology enables a new approach to capturing and measuring critical data, through advanced analysis using AI and machine learning techniques that use features in speech (biomarkers) enabling the replacement of today’s subjective behavioral health measurements with a standard approach to objectively and comprehensively measure an array of data points.

Ultimately the study, which will be conducted under informed consent using de-identified data, will enhance the information available to clinical teams about people in their care, and increase quality of care. Audio samples can be easily acquired using smartphones and are non-invasive. Canary Speech has validated its approach in clinical, FDA drug trials, pharmaceutical, and consumer studies under strict scientific double blinded studies, and is working across a range of diseases including: stress, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, and others.