New tool can diagnose Type 2 diabetes using just ten seconds of your voice

October 24, 2023

A new type of artificial intelligence (AI) requires only 6-10 seconds of a voice clip to diagnose Type 2 diabetes—offering a potential breakthrough in screening for the disease, reports Study Finds.

This novel diagnostic method, which has been labeled a “potential game changer,” enables individuals to screen themselves for the disease by simply uttering a few sentences into their smartphones.

The study merges voice technology with artificial intelligence. Developed by Klick Labs in Toronto, the test has an accuracy rate of 89% for women and 86% for men. The technology uses between six and ten seconds of voice recording; and basic health data, such as age, gender, height, and weight. This information feeds into an AI model designed to determine if an individual has Type 2 diabetes.

For the study, 267 participants, identified as either non-diabetic or Type 2 diabetic, were instructed to record a specific phrase on their smartphones six times a day over a span of two weeks. From the amassed 18,000+ recordings, scientists examined 14 distinct acoustic attributes to discern differences between the two groups.

The findings, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Digital Health,

delve deep into vocal characteristics—identifying subtle changes in pitch and intensity that are imperceptible to the human ear. Through advanced signal processing, the researchers could pinpoint vocal alterations caused by Type 2 diabetes, noting that these changes differed between men and women.

“Our research highlights significant vocal variations between individuals with and without Type 2 diabetes and could transform how the medical community screens for diabetes,” says Klick scientist Jaycee Kaufman, the paper’s lead author. “Current methods of detection can require a lot of time, travel, and cost. Voice technology has the potential to remove these barriers entirely.”

Globally, nearly half of the 480 million adults with diabetes are unaware of their condition. Furthermore, approximately 90 percent of all diabetic cases are Type 2.

“Our research underscores the tremendous potential of voice technology in identifying Type 2 diabetes and other health conditions,” says Yan Fossat, VP of Klick Labs and the study’s principal investigator. “Voice technology could revolutionize healthcare practices as an accessible and affordable digital screening tool.”

He further notes its potential applications, including tests for high blood pressure, prediabetes, and various women’s health issues.

Research contact: @StudyFinds