Nurses who treat Parkinson’s disease sufferers could use a couple of specially designed mobile phone apps to help their patients improve their speech.
Nearly three quarters of the 120,000 Parkinson’s sufferers in the UK develop speech problems, which has prompted the University of Portsmouth’s Dr Roger Eglin to develop the apps to help these people regain their confidence in communicating with others.
The apps feature a feedback meter which measures how loud their speech is compared to background noise to discover what adjustments need to be made to ensure they are heard properly.
They also house a voice training function which would encourage them to speak louder in an effort to make them easier to understand.
Dr Eglin has been awarded a £35,000 grant by Parkinson’s UK to tailor the apps in a year-long project.
He said: “We’ve already developed a basic mobile phone application to improve speech, but it needs to be further improved and tailored specifically for people with Parkinson’s.”
The apps could enable Parkinson’s sufferers to have better access to speech therapy as healthcare professionals could monitor their progress remotely using this technology.