In the fields of science and technology, “wearables” is quickly becoming a favorite buzzword. This rapidly growing industry includes everything from smartwatches that read you the news to earbuds that monitor your athletic performance. En masse, these products are created to address a problem through convenience, but a research group at MIT is taking this industry in an exciting new direction.
Working alongside Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT has created a new device with the capacity to fix certain voice problems. Through the use of a wearable gadget, the research team is able to provide more comprehensive and effective treatment for individuals suffering from Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD). MTD is a pattern of muscle use which results in an inefficient use of one’s voice, often characterized by hoarse, weak or tense vocal sounds. When left untreated, this can lead to the development of voice disorders.
The gadget would be worn by the patient on a daily basis in order to track speech patterns. This data could then be used by a voice specialist to create personalized vocal therapy routines. This new method would have the capacity to provide more in-depth insight to the individual’s vocal patterns; thereby allowing more immediate and comprehensive rehabilitation.
In a study conducted by the MIT team, researchers had two groups—a control group and a group of MTD patients—wear the gadget to compare vocal patterns. The data from the group of MTD patients was used to create personalized vocal treatment plans. After the MTD group received vocal therapy, their speech patterns were restored to closely match those of the control group.
The success of this study provides hope that new forms of technology will allow greater understanding and more effective treatment for other complex disorders. To learn more about vocal therapy options, we encourage you to schedule a vocal consultation with your trusted Murrieta ear nose and throat doctor. For availability, call our team at (858) 909-0770.