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"The Military Wants Better Tests for PTSD. Speech Analysis Could Be the Answer" - Dave Philipps

  • The New York Times
  • New York, NY
  • (April 22, 2019)

A new voice analysis technique may be able to take the guesswork out of identifying PTSD using the same technology now used to dial home hands-free or order pizza on a smart speaker. A team of researchers have created an algorithm that can analyze patient interviews, sort through tens of thousands of variables in their speech and identify minute auditory markers of PTSD that are otherwise imperceptible to the human ear, then make a diagnosis. The results were published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, and show the algorithm was able to correctly identify patients with PTSD 89 percent of the time. The results of the study are encouraging, and can be built on to create more sophisticated screening tools, said Rachel Yehuda, PhD, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “This is an important effort. But mental health conditions are complicated and I suspect there is more work to be done.”

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— Rachel Yehuda, Professor, Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Director, Traumatic Stress Studies, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai