Vocal Biomarkers: New Opportunities in Prevention

Your voice betrays you, princess!

The line has a long tradition in literature and cinematography. Its earliest presence might be in the Tales of One Thousand and One Nights by storyteller Scheherezade. In one of her stories her voice reveals a princess dressed in male cloths to a dervish; and he uses this exact line to tell her, he knows he is in fact female.

It has been commonplace since ancient times to spot liars based on their voices. Secret services such as the FBI currently also uses speech patterns in determining the truth value of statements. In an interview with CNBC, former FBI negotiator, Chris Voss said, “only 7 per cent of a message is based on the words, while 38 per cent comes from the tone of voice and 55 per cent from the speaker’s body language and face”. In the television series Lie to Me! the main character played by Tim Roth solved countless crimes based on body language as well as through recognizing lies from the intonation and cadence of the bad guys.

Your Voice Reveals You - Vocal Biomarkers

How to define vocal biomarkers?

According to the latest scientific studies, it is definitely not negative, if your voice betrays you. On the contrary! The characteristics of your voice – or as medicine labels them, vocal biomarkers – reveals a lot about your health; and help in detecting serious diseases and health risks.

The term “biomarker”, the shortened version of “biological marker” refers to medical signs, which indicate the medical state observed from outside the patient. So while patients sense symptoms, medical professionals measure biomarkers. Currently, they take into account all kinds of objective, quantifiable biomarkers ranging from biochemical, radiology markers to various health parameters. And as you could have guessed already, vocal biomarkers are medical signs deducted from the features of your voice.

Sound of Your Voice Helps Detect Diseases - Vocal Biomarkers

Amazing potential in reforming diagnostics

Vocal biomarkers have an amazing potential in reforming diagnostics through their accuracy, speed and cost-effectiveness.

They are able to detect some diseases earlier than an average check-up process; and an earlier diagnosis could essentially be the difference between life and death in relation to certain illnesses. It is an amazing area of medicine, and the field is buzzing. More and more start-ups are eager to join in: Beyond Verbal, Sonde Health or the Berlin-based Audio Profiling. The tech giant, IBM is teaming its Watson AI supercomputer with academic researchers to try to predict from speech patterns whether patients are likely to develop a psychotic disorder. Even the US Army got interested! In May, 2016 it launched a partnership with MIT researchers with the goal of developing an FDA-approved device to detect brain injury. But that’s not all!

Let me show you the potential areas where diagnosticians could use vocal biomarkers successfully!

Voice Analysis - Vocal Biomarkers

What if coronary artery disease could be identified over a phone call?

An Israeli company, Beyond Verbal deals with emotion analytics and provides voice analysis software. It has announced that its algorithms were successful in helping to detect the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD) in a group of patients.

The research was presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, Louisiana in December 2016; carried out in cooperation with Mayo Clinic. It involved a double-blind study with 120 patients undergoing both an angiography and a voice analysis; and a group of controls. Beyond Verbal used a smartphone app to measure their voice signal prior to a coronary angiograph. One voice characteristic in particular indicated an almost 20-fold increase in the likelihood of CAD. Yuval Mor, CEO of Beyond Verbal said that these vocal features are not audible by the human ear alone.

Now, imagine all the implications of the research! Imagine how easy it would be if medical professionals could identify patients with CAD over a phone call! There would be no need to go to the doctors’ office, wait for hours for costly examinations and days for the results.

CAD identification over phone call - Vocal Biomarkers

Say some words, I tell you whether you are depressed!

Sonde Health Inc., a Boston-based company develops a voice-based technology platform for monitoring and diagnosing mental and physical medical conditions, with the help of a technology licensed from the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Researchers designed the technology to enable analysis of brief voice samples to screen and monitor for a range of mental and physical medical concerns based on subtle changes in acoustic characteristics of the speaker’s voice.

“The ability to help recognize early signs of psychiatric illness and monitor treatment responses on devices that people already own is an important step in moving from reactive to preventive care,” said Aimee Danielson, Ph.D., Director, Women’s Mental Health Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “This would be particularly useful in conditions that are chronically underdiagnosed, like perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression.”

Another Boston-based company, Cogito, is developing a voice analysis app. The US Department of Veterans Affairs started to use it already to monitor the mood of service members. Its testing also started on patients with bipolar disorder and depression. It is amazing how they are able to detect depression in individuals based on a brief sample of spoken words! I hope the technology will be widely available soon.

Vocal Biomarkers

What if voice could reveal Parkinson’s disease?

It is time-consuming, difficult and expensive to carry out standard medical tests for Parkinson’s disease. Scientists found though that the chronic illness affects limb movements as much as voice – and some of them started to develop a technology for easier diagnosing the illness. Through voice.

For proving the efficiency of the new diagnostic tool, a couple of researchers started the Parkinson’s Voice Initiative. It aims to record 10,000 voices across the world – to collect enough recordings to introduce the jaw-dropping technology on a wider scale.

This could enable some radical breakthroughs, because voice-based tests are as accurate as clinical tests, but additionally, medical professionals could administer them remotely, and patients can do the tests themselves. Also, they are high speed (take less than 30 seconds), and are ultra low cost. So, they are massively scalable. Amazing, isn’t it? Would you like to facilitate the great cause? You’ve got the chance to participate in their smartphone data-gathering or PVA Voice test, so do it!

Diagnosing Parkinson's Disease - Vocal Biomarkers

Start-ups and researchers interested in vocal biomarkers, let’s unite!

In 2016, Beyond Verbal announced the launch of Beyond mHealth Research Platform. It aims to collaborate with research institutes, hospitals, businesses, and universities to collectively search for unique markers in voice samples.

This is a fantastic idea since more data could lead to more accurate results and better solutions for patients. One of them might be the use of AI algorithms for analyzing billions of voice samples and suggesting a potential diagnosis. Beyond Verbal, which has gathered more than 2.5 million voice samples in 40 languages, wants to build such an algorithm with a virtual assistance. Thus, it encourages other institutions, researchers and others interested in collecting voice data through smart cars, the Internet of Things devices in smart homes or personal assistants like Siri and Alexa. It is a wonderful idea and I hope they will succeed!

Beyond Verbal - Vocal Biomarkers

It’s obvious that we need more research in the field of vocal biomarkers. We also need not to forget the ethical issues concerning the voice recordings. Although algorithms analyzing samples may not be interested in the content of the speech; nevertheless listening to someone talking to someone else over the phone and analyzing the vocal biomarkers in it, could constitute a serious breach of privacy. What should we do about that?

Well, regulators need to keep up with the development of the field of vocal biomarkers, and consider privacy issues before the sea of vocal analytics apps reach the market.


Report explores the affective computing market from USD 12.20 billion in 2016 to USD 53.98 billion by 2021

Frequent advancement in the field of gesture recognition, facial feature extraction, and speech analytics is expected to bring about lucrative business prospects in the affective computing domain

Global affective computing market to increase from USD 12.20 billion in 2016 to USD 53.98 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 34.7%. The market is escalating rapidly, owing to rising digitization and continuous advancements in the field of cognitive science and computer science that are shaping the way for a new technology.

Touch-based technology recorded for the largest market share during the initial phase of the growth period.

However, due to rising technological advancements, the touchless technology is expected to dominate the market.

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Key Target Audience :

  • Machine learning/Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution and service providers
  • Cognitive and AI technology experts/providers
  • Business intelligence tools and system experts/providers
  • System integrators
  • End-users/consumers/enterprise users
  • Telecommunication providers
  • Mobile network operators
  • Internet of Things (IoT) device/wearable device manufacturers
  • Managed service providers
  • Technology consultants
  • Training and education service providers

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Key Points From Table Of Content :

Key Innovators :

  • Google Inc.
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • IBM Corporation
  • Apple, Inc.
  • Qualcomm Inc.
  • Saffron Technology Inc. (An Intel Company)
  • Softkinetic System S.A. (A Sony Group Company)
  • Affectiva
  • Elliptic Labs
  • Eyesight Technologies, Ltd.
  • Pyreos Limited
  • Cognitec Systems GmbH
  • Beyond Verbal Communication Ltd.
  • Numenta
  • Gesturetek
  • Sightcorp

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Research Coverage:

The affective computing market is segmented by technology, which includes touch-based and touchless technologies. Affective computing software is further segmented into speech recognition, gesture recognition, facial feature extraction, analytics software, and enterprise software.

The affective computing market is segmented by technology, which includes touch-based and touchless technologies. Affective computing software is further segmented into speech recognition, gesture recognition, facial feature extraction, analytics software, and enterprise software.

Affective computing hardware is categorized into sensors, cameras, storage device, processors, and others (including touch point/screen/display, radio/antenna, and microphone/speaker).Segmentation on the basis of verticals include academia &research, media & entertainment, government &defense, healthcare &life sciences, Information Technology (IT)&telecom, retail &e-commerce, automotive, and Banking, Financial Services, & Insurance (BFSI). The regional analysis includes the study of North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), and the Rest of World (RoW).

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Research details developments in the Global vacation rental market report for 2017

A vacation rental is an alternative lodging option, which involves the short-term rental of myriad properties, such as apartments, farm stays, private homes, cabins, beach houses, villas, cottages, or chalets to travelers and tourists.

About Vacation Rental 

A vacation rental is an alternative lodging option, which involves the short-term rental of myriad properties, such as apartments, farm stays, private homes, cabins, beach houses, villas, cottages, or chalets to travelers and tourists. These dwelling units are offered on a nightly, weekly, or a monthly basis although the dominant practice in the market is renting it out weekly.

They are also commonly referred to as holiday lettings, tourist rentals, bed and breakfast, homestays, and gites, among others. An essential attribute attached to a vacation rental is that it provides an authentic travel experience as they are commonly located within the community and provide the opportunity to take in the local flair and culture.

– Advertising –

The patterns and trends in the market have changed over time, and vacation rentals are increasingly becoming a part of the global temporary accommodation market.


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The analysts forecast the global vacation rental market to grow at a CAGR of 7.07% during the period 2017-2021.

Covered in this report

The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global vacation rental market for 2017-2021. To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated from vacation rentals.

The market is divided into the following segments based on geography:




Latin America

North America

 The report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

Key vendors





Wyndham Worldwide

World Travel Holdings


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Other prominent vendors

At Home Abroad





Villas International

Market driver

Increased investment in vacation rental homes

For a full, detailed list, view our report

Market challenge

Low conversion rate of lead to transaction

For a full, detailed list, view our report

Market trend

Proliferation of vacation rental business services

For a full, detailed list, view our report

Key questions answered in this report

What will the market size be in 2021 and what will the growth rate be?

What are the key market trends?

What is driving this market?

What are the challenges to market growth?

Who are the key vendors in this market space?

What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the key vendors?

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the key vendors?


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Table Of Contents

PART 01: Executive summary

PART 02: Scope of the report

PART 03: Research methodology

PART 04: Introduction

PART 05: Market landscape

PART 06: Market segmentation by end-user

PART 07: Geographical segmentation

PART 08: Market drivers

PART 09: Impact of drivers

PART 10: Market challenges

PART 11: Impact of drivers and challenges

PART 12: Market trends

PART 13: Vendor landscape

PART 14: Key vendor analysis


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With the window of opportunity getting open and shut at a speed of light, it has become very important to survive in the market and only the fittest and competent enough can do so. So, we try and provide with latest changes in the market


The top technologies with the biggest promise for 2017

1) A new era in diabetes care

In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the world’s first artificial pancreas. The device monitors blood sugar and supplies insulin automatically. It basically replicates what a healthy version of the organ does on its own; and it enables diabetes patients to live an easier life in a sustainable way. It is the biggest step towards a new are in diabetes management in years

The breakthrough happened years after the #wearenotwaiting movement started to campaign for the introduction of such artificial pancreas on the market. One of the leading figures of the movement, Dana Lewis also told me how an artificial pancreas eases everyday life. In 2017, this new way of diabetes management will spread around; and it will become a life-changing milestone in many patients’ lives when they first start to use the device.

The development of diabetes care does not end there. Google patented a digital contact lens that can measure blood glucose levels from tears as an added benefit. Google launched a partnership with the pharmaceutical company Novartis; and while there is rather silence around the state of the developments, there are rumors about it becoming available for trials in 2017.

Artificial Pancreas - Medical Technologies of 2017

2) Precision medicine in oncology

Digital technology will start the transformation of available cancer care methods on the market. Personalized oncology is becoming available through start-ups and companies such as Foundation Medicine andSmartPatients.

Foundation Medicine aims to bring cancer genomics to cancer care. It provides information about patient-specific cancer treatments based on DNA-tests. SmartPatients tries to change cancer care with patient empowerment through an online community.

There are significant advances in immunotherapy which might launch a new era of treating cancer. Liquid biopsy was the big thing in 2016 and now it’s becoming more accessible for patients worldwide. The technology has limitations, but it’s getting better. For example, the blood sample should be obtained before a chemotherapy and it’s hard to detect cancer cells. Precision medicine is changing the old model of treating cancer: instead of canons, we start using sniper rifles.

IBM Watson in Oncology - Medical Technologies of 2017

3) Narrow artificial intelligence in US clinics

IBM Watson, the company’s advanced artificial intelligence program is transforming healthcare into a quantifiable service where every bit of information is available. By using it, physicians only have to go through their personalized reports instead of reading through dozens of papers for every patient’s case. It has been used in oncology and radiology (Medical Sieve project) so far. Although recent news about IBM making Watson available widely at US clinics could boost the whole idea of physicians needing help from algorithms. The so-called Watson for Genomics helps advance precision medicine by combining cognitive computing with genomic tumour sequencing.

We need to prepare for IBM Watson’s broader use in 2017. Although it does not answer medical questions, but based on patients’ data it comes up with the most relevant and likely medical outcomes. However, physicians will make the final call. Computer assistance can only facilitate the work of physicians, it will definitely not replace it.

Medical Technologies of 2017

4) Driverless trucks or cars will include health sensors

In 2017, we have to prepare for the spread of cars with more and more automated functions. In September, Uber started offering rides in self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, a notoriously demanding urban environment. The company teamed up with Volvo to fulfil Uber’s objective to replace its more than 1 million human drivers with robots – as quickly as possible. There are already significant results: Volvo trucks have gone through Europe already without drivers – how amazing is that!

Parallel with striving for the introduction of driverless cars as soon as possible, companies are equipping cars with tons of sensors. As we will spend more passive time in 2017 in these vehicles, Uber, Volvo or Tesla will start implementing health sensors into the driver’s seat. I believe that the car itself is going to operate as a point-of-care in the future.

Driverless Cars - Medical Technologies of 2017

5) New service in nutrigenomics

In 2014, the FDA clamped down the marketing activities of the biggest provider of genetic tests, 23andMe due to its precautionary concerns. Despite the precedent set by 23andMe, several companies continue to offer and market genetic testing and interpretive analysis without submitting to premarket review by the FDA. Since November 2015, the FDA has sent five “it has come to our attention” letters to such companies. While the FDA cannot stop companies offering genetic-based services to patients forever, the next “big deal”, namely nutrigenomics, is already knocking on the door. It is going to become a hit in 2017.

Nutrigenomics is a brand-new cross-field combining genetics and nutrition science. The basic idea behind nutrigenomics is that our genome reveals valuable information about our organism’s needs. We should map out this data and utilize in order to lead a long and healthy life. After having your DNA sequenced (perhaps already at home), a smart app could let you know which food you should eat and what you should avoid at all cost. There is already a California-based start-up dealing with nutrigenomics. The inventive company, Habitplans to use genetic markers to identify the ideal meal for each of its customers, and send that meal directly to their doors.

Nutrigenomics in Sports - Future of Professional Sports

6) SpaceX and NASA will realize they need a digital health masterplan to reach Mars

In September, Elon Musk, CEO of the SpaceX rocket company aroused hope in astronautics again for the greatest pleasure of the fans of space flights. He promised no less than to take humanity to Mars. I followed Musk’s brilliant and inspiring speech online and I got really excited about his vision. His words rang in my head for the next couple of days, and I started to think about the realities of the mission to Mars.

I think the biggest obstacle in reaching the Red Planet and installing the conditions of life there is the current state of healthcare. 2017 will be the year when NASA and SpaceX will realize that they not only need amasterplan for revolutionizing the transportation industry and space travel, but also one in digital health.

Elon Musk Colonies on Mars - Digital Health

7) The genome editing method CRISPR in clinical trials

Every decade or so, there are only a few new ideas that show the potentials of revolutionizing the whole industry of healthcare and pharma. The amazing genome editing method, CRISPR has this potential.

Researchers have already used gene-editing to create mosquitoes that are almost entirely resistant to the parasite that causes malaria. Some scientists also believe that we will have the chance to edit our cells in our immune systems with CRISPR to improve them against cancer cells and to help them kill these malevolent entities in time. This year, experiments also showed how scientists were able to treat mice with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy through gene editing. I believe that in 2017, we have a great chance for launching the first clinical trials to test the real power of CRISPR in changing devastating diseases.


8) A big tech company will step into health

Yes, I know, you are right, Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, they all showed interest in medicine and healthcare. However, they should step up their efforts. Google has made steps forward in healthcare withCalico. They look for possible “cures” for ageing and for basically everything which might lead to death. It works together with pharma giant Abbvie to accelerate the discovery, development and commercialization of new therapies.

Human Longevity Inc. joined forces with Cleveland Clinic for a human genomics collaboration aimed at disease discovery and making ageing a chronic condition. IBM has been developing its artificial intelligence program, Watson and puts it to use in cardiology and cancer care. There is a harsh race among companies in terms of digital technological development; and its effects are already tangible in medicine and healthcare as well.

The race will not tone down in 2017, rather on the contrary. A tech giant will announce next year that it will devote significant resources to changing healthcare, a quite undiscovered industry for them.

Tech in Healthcare - Medical Technologies of 2017

9) An insurance company launches a wearable sensor package

2017 will be the year when the behemoth system of health insurance will start to change with data provided by patients. The hipster insurance company, Oscar Health made the first steps already. It has built upon the idea that without quantifying health, insurance is the riskiest business of all. With the help of Oscar Health, insured people can submit their Fitbit data; and if they reach their fitness goals, they get $1 every day. It helps keep people healthy and motivated with a simple but quantifiable reward.

I believe that in the future, smoking, drinking heavily, eating trashy food and not doing any sports might not only cost people a lot in terms of their expenses and their health on the long run, but it might also heavily burden their health insurance with extra fees.

Due to predictions, 245 million wearable devices will be sold in 2019. As more and more accurate data sets about our lifestyle through trackers and wearables become available, it is inevitable insurance companies will try to utilize them. In 2017, a large insurance company (not a start-up!) will launch a package containing wearable sensors and guidance about living a healthy life by measuring data in 2017.

Insurance Data with Wearables - Medical Technologies of 2017

10) The surgical robot by Google and Johnson&Johnson will compete with daVinci

Surgical robots have the potential to change how surgeons will operate in the future. The industry is about to boomby 2020, surgical robotics sales are expected to almost double to $6.4 billion.

One fine example is the da Vinci Surgical System. It features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. With the da Vinci Surgical System, surgeons operate through just a few small incisions. The surgeon is 100% in control of the robotic system at all times; and he or she is able to carry out more precise operations than previously thought possible. Recently, Google has announced that it started working with the pharma giant Johnson&Johnson in creating a new surgical robot system. The tech expertise of Google with the healthcare experience of J&J could prove to be a jackpot combination: daVinci will finally have a real competitor. It will definitely give another boost to the surgical robot industry.

daVinci surgical robot

11) Vocal biomarkers: the future of diagnostic medicine

Not long ago, scientists discovered vocal features in every way imperceptible to humans. They also found that the identification of such distinctive characteristics might have a huge impact on setting up a diagnosis. Researchers labelled these features “vocal biomarkers”. These can serve as a diagnostic tool for your physician to indicate signs of illnesses ranging from stress and depression to cardiovascular diseases. An earlier diagnosis could essentially be the difference between life and death. The Beyond Health Research platform is analysing such biomarkers. An Israeli company, Beyond Verbal is launching a platform solely committed to analysing emotions from vocal intonations.

Vocal biomarkers will gain ground in 2017. Instead of focusing only on biomarkers measured in blood or genomic markers analysed by geneticists, vocal biomarkers which are easy to detect, record and analyse will be used more and more for detecting and preventing diseases.

Vocal Biomarkers - Medical Technologies of 2017

12) Pharma will start using massive AI in clinical trials and drug research

Clinical trials take a decade and cost billions of dollars. This medical practice has to be changed. The rapid development of artificial intelligence might aid clinical trials. With the help of AI they might require significantly less time and they might be brought closer to the medical institutions and patients themselves. For example the company, Atomwise uses supercomputers that root out therapies from a database of molecular structures. Last year, Atomwise launched a virtual search for safe, existing medicines in order to redesign them to treat the Ebola virus. They found two drugs predicted by the company’s AI technology which may significantly reduce Ebola infectivity. This analysis, which typically would have taken months or years, was completed in less than one day!

2017 will be the year when the pharma industry realizes they either use AI in drug research and clinical trials or start-ups will make them suffer. When disruption kicks in through a few new technologies, even the giants will have to change their business models…

Atomwise - Medical Technologies of 2017

13) A company will make the 3D printed cast a real choice

Imagine a scenario where you have broken or twisted a limb, and need a cast. Previously, a messy process of fitting plaster to your hurting body part would be followed by frequent doctor visits to refit the cast as the inflammation subsides or muscles atrophy. Instead, the doctor just scans your arm, prints out a water-proof, lightweight cast in seconds using a software approved by traumatologists, and you’re free to go home. At the next visit, your caregiver simply pops it open to examine the injury. Cheaper, faster, more convenient for both patient and doctor.

The Spanish 3D printing startup Exovite experimented with the technology. Scanning a limb is very simple today. Designing a customized cast is also not rocket science. So what’s the main obstacle for applying the above method? The acceptance from traumatologists. That’s a hard one. But in 2017, a start-up will finally make it happen.

3D-Printed Cast - Medical Technologies of 2017

It’s important to mention though that none of these will happen without inpiduals who understand what the technological advances can bring upon as. Those people who discuss the advantages and ethical issues today are the ones who will bring disruption to everyday life tomorrow. Because it’s always more important how we adjust to the changes than what developments will take place next year.

I hope 2017 will be the year when we acknowledge that a cultural revolution is on the way only triggered by new technologies.


Beyond Verbal’s voice-driven Emotions Analytics Technology Positively Impacts Customer Satisfaction in Real-Time Communication

A current trend in the technology space and business media is the conversation surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the discussion about whether it will soon be replacing real human interaction. However, one aspect that is lacking from the discussion is a dialogue on how AI can dramatically improve business interactions, specifically in terms of client and customer relations. With this in mind, TMForum has developed within its Catalyst Program one such catalyst that focuses on Sentimental Apps; a rapid fire, member-driven, proof-of-concept project in which global enterprises try to create innovative solutions to address industry challenges. The catalyst was comprised of five companies: Bell Canada, Amdocs, Microsoft, Beyond Verbal and CallVU. All were focused on finding a way to increase customer satisfaction, increase revenue, and improve call resolution while reducing customer churn and cost to serve.


In order to provide a more personalized and contextual customer engagement, the catalyst demonstrated the value of leveraging cognitive computing technologies and Emotions Analytics in voice & text-based customer support. In order to achieve these objectives, the five companies collaborated to build a customer service representative dashboard that displays detected customer emotion (powered by Beyond Verbal) and customer intent, in order to drive the next best action and offer the customer the best service possible across assisted and unassisted channels.


Beyond Verbal contributed to the catalyst with its voice-driven Emotions Analytics, as its technology analyzes vocal intonations to detect speaker’s mood in real-time. As a company, its main task was to increase customer satisfaction and improve call resolution through the enablement of understanding the customer’s emotional state in real-time, while simultaneously empowering emotion-aware next best actions to achieve the best customer interaction outcome.

Beyond Verbal’s ability to extract, decode, and measure human moods in real-time as the call is taking place, introduces a new dimension of emotional understanding called Emotions Analytics. An interdisciplinary team of physics, operations research, decision making and neuropsychology research, scientists conducted more than 20 years of work that included over 3 million voice
samples in more than 40 different languages.



The key takeaway from the catalyst was that customer experience was enhanced by the Artificial Intelligence and vocal analytics which were used to inform and positively impact the conversation flow. The convergence of sentiment within the context of voice interactions will be pivotal in the future of customer service, especially for agent guidance and human assisted interactions.

About Beyond Verbal

Since its launch in 2012, Beyond Verbal has been using voice-driven emotions AI to dramatically change the way we can detect emotions and reveal health conditions. The only input needed is the human voice, making this technology non-intrusive, passive and cost effective. Beyond Verbal’s technology has been developed based on ongoing research into the science of emotions that started in 1995. By combining the company’s patented technology with its proprietary machine learning-based algorithms and AI, Beyond Verbal is focusing on enabling devices to understand our emotions and health.

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How does the Communications Service Provider of today become the Digital Service Provider of tomorrow?


TM Forum Live should be a great Catalyst for innovation

Next week at TM Forum Live in Nice, France (May 15-18) Amdocs, along with our partners BearingPoint, Bell Canada, Beyond Verbal, CallVU, ESRI, Microsoft, NTT, Orange, and Symantec, will be showcasing two proof-of-concept Catalyst projects:

  • Sentimental Applications and Humanization of technology, championed by Bell Canada. Partners include Beyond Verbal, CallVU and Microsoft.
  • Connected Citizen showcasing “Life in a Green, Clean, Smart City.” This project is led by Orange and NTT Group and has partners including BearingPoint, ESRI, and Symantec.

Cognitive intelligence at its best

Bell Canada is championing a project to demonstrate how cognitive intelligence can help a communication service provider (CSP) better understand its customers in real-time. The Catalyst demonstrates how CSPs can integrate customer data, add an intent-based layer that dynamically interprets data, and incorporate the data with real-time user sentiment analysis. This will facilitate CSPs building better relationships with their customers in real-time, as they analyze and react to the customers far more accurately and far faster – delivering true proactive care that provides the customer with next best action or offers.

Furthermore, the Catalyst will enable new engagement modes for improved resolution rates, from chatbots and call center interaction, including automated topic detection, categorization and visual interactive voice responses (IVRs) that is included in a support platform guiding inbound callers, to a web-based support experience – personalizing the support journey for customers.

Amdocs is managing the Catalyst and is facilitating the integration between partners while providing the telecoms-specific intent-based layer, knowledge, and expertise. The work will demonstrate several human engagement models, involving cognitive intelligence, which service providers can take advantage of to personalize customer support based on the real-time sentiment of the user interacting with the system.

Amdocs’ involvement also includes a combination of synonym, semantic and sentiment (S3) analysis which is key to understanding the customer’s needs. This uses word-webs and natural language processing (NLP) to pave the way for synonym and semantic understanding. Amdocs will develop cognitive open APIs which will mean a CSP can dynamically offer their customers next best action, proactive care, and offers in real-time and recommend actions that are most suited to the customer’s persona and emotional state.

Bell Canada sees this as having the potential to offer service providers the ability to understand, in real-time, the emotional state and rationale of the customer – are they angry, frustrated, excited, or happy – and offer them the next best action or offer that’s right for them.

Sentimental analysis is therefore a fundamental next step for service providers in becoming a true intelligent Digital Service Provider (DSP) and embrace cognitive intelligence in many forms, including chatbots, engagement centers and self-service apps.

Lead a smarter life

Orange Group and NTT are championing a second Catalyst project at TM Forum Live involving Amdocs called ‘Smart Life: My Home, My City, My Planet’ in collaboration with partners including Symantec, BearingPoint and ESRI. This Catalyst will focus on the creation of a new service provider business platform for delivering innovative and secured smart services to improve the quality of life and safety of all citizens.

Amdocs’ contribution is our advanced revenue guard analytical and cyber fraud capabilities, which address some of the key challenges of a smart life/IoT ecosystem. This covers verifying a subscriber’s identity when they join a service, to preventing possible equipment theft, unauthorized usage and unauthorized access. Other challenges concern dealing with situations caused by human error, such as auto-detecting when a user forgets to turn off electrical appliances in the home.  The Catalyst participants have already unveiled and demonstrated a fully functioning prototype – a comprehensive and easy-to-use IoT digital service on a single platform. The prototype takes into account the product’s full lifecycle, from the point of sale through subscription, configuration, and customer usage and bill payment.

By learning the user’s account history patterns and analyzing new information, the solution improves its abilities to identify user error and system malfunctions that might result in loss of revenue over time raising red flags when necessary. For example, revenue guard might detect an unusual pattern relating to a customer’s account. If it fits into behavior that correlates with other users it may not take action. However, if the action does not fit a familiar pattern, the solution might choose to bring the case to the attention of the customer or provider for resolution. Yet another example of cognitive intelligence enabling digital transformation in the communications industry.

Today, if you ask any CSP what its biggest challenge is, they’ll say it is digital transformation. The vast majority want to digitally transform their business to grow their share of their market.  While they recognize this need to change, a lack of a clear strategy often prevents them from realizing the benefits. Yet, in a converging digital world, communication providers must be able to join the dots, embrace technology to achieve greater efficiencies, and drive down costs, but more importantly to help them better serve customers.

This will enable today’s CSP to become the DSP of tomorrow – allowing them to make this leap in reality.

Interested in seeing these Catalysts come to life at TM Forum Live! in Nice next week? Check out the agenda and register to attend.


Armed with data, IT companies are transforming health care

Armed with data, IT companies are transforming health care

As an industry, medicine was once the preserve of the privileged few; no more


TOKYO Health care as we know it is unsustainable. Hospitals and clinics will not be able to handle the inevitable rise in the number of elderly patients. A technological transformation is vital to free up doctors to concentrate on emergencies and new fields of medicine — and the shift has already started.

In primary care, artificial intelligence, big data and wearable devices will do much of the heavy lifting. Consulting a doctor will be something you do at home. Driving the evolution are some of the world’s biggest tech companies — Google, Facebook, IBM and Tencent — along with a growing contingent of startups in Asia and elsewhere.


This two-story former church in Palo Alto, California, houses Chinese tech giant Tencent’s largest U.S. office.

Kevin Keenahan, co-founder of U.S. medical startup Tissue Analytics, was clearing out his spam folder in Philadelphia when he found an email from an unfamiliar sender. Tencent Exploration was requesting a meeting.

That chance discovery in the autumn of 2014 was the beginning of a relationship that has led to two rounds of funding from Tencent, one of China’s largest internet companies. WeChat, Tencent’s instant messaging service, has 889 million monthly active accounts, 2.7 times the U.S. population. In China, WeChat is used for everything from booking taxis to paying for groceries. And if Tencent’s calculations are correct, it will become an indispensable part of health care.

Working out of a church-turned-office in downtown Palo Alto, California, Tencent’s investment arm, Tencent Exploration, scours the U.S. for startups with the potential to be partners.

Established by graduates of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, Tissue Analytics offers an application that monitors chronic wounds, burns and skin conditions using a tablet and artificial intelligence. Traditionally, a nurse measures the wound with a ruler to assess how it is healing. Tissue Analytics’ app analyzes a photograph of the wound instead. This reduces inconsistency in assessments and cuts paperwork time in half.

“This is an unglamorous field of medicine, but could have value for hundreds of millions of people, reducing amputations and mortalities,” Keenahan told the Nikkei Asian Review. “There is a huge need in China, where there are many diabetics.”

Tencent Exploration has invested in more than 60 startups, of which 40% are related to health and wellness. The scope includes DNA testing, blood testing, cancer detection, health care crowdfunding and personal health data management, among others.


HEALTH CARE IS IT “Virtually every single telecom and IT company is building a health care strategy,” Reenita Das, a partner at consultancy Frost & Sullivan, recently told the Nikkei Asian Review. “A big shift is occurring, and that is the consumerization of the health care industry.” How can I get better quicker? How can I take less medicine? How can I avoid side effects? Those are questions that patients will be able to ask and get answers to, thanks to the abundance of information that is becoming available.

Apple last year invested in Silicon Valley-based Gliimpse, a startup that offers a platform where users can store and manage their personal health data. Everything from a glucose number to potassium levels will be easily shareable with doctors.


Google and Swiss drugmaker Novartis have teamed up to develop smart contact lenses that can track diabetes by measuring glucose levels in tears. In Asia, Japan’s SoftBank Group and TechMatrix have joined forces to establish a scheme where hospitals can share high resolution X-ray, CT and MRI images in a timely manner, which would help compensate for Japan’s chronic shortage of pathologists.

In 2016, there were 97 venture capital investments in Asia’s health care, pharmaceutical and biotech sectors, according to KPMG’s Venture Pulse. Those investments were worth $1.37 billion, which is more than double the figure five years ago.

TRIMMING COSTS The use of digital technologies will bring down costs. For example, the average cost of an outpatient physician visit is $100 to $150 in the U.S. today. That would come down to $40 if it were an e-visit.

Today, a radiologist looks at an X-ray, CT or MRI scan and searches for shades and colors to determine whether or not a tissue is cancerous. “Future doctors will look at the patient’s statistics and use an algorithm to compare it to other similar patients,” Das predicts.

Eventually this task will be automated and done by computers. Doctors will focus on surgical procedure, assisted by robots in smart operating rooms, allowing them to treat patients in a more precise, safe and efficient way.

The search for new medical technology spans the globe. Israel is buzzing with new medical startups, something that has not gone unnoticed among Chinese tech companies. Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent have local teams looking for potential tie-ups. “They visit companies along the Mediterranean coastline, between Tel Aviv and Haifa, the heart of Israeli IT and cyber innovation,” said Levi Shapiro, founder of the nonprofit organization mHealth Israel, who serves as an adviser to many of the Chinese tech scouts.


In Tel Aviv, a startup that specializes in voice analysis received a $3 million investment from Chinese conglomerate Kuang-Chi group last year. Beyond Verbal Communication has technology that allows real-time analysis of a person’s emotional state, based on the sound of the voice.

“There is a difference in enthusiasm when someone says, ‘I like this product,’ and, ‘I like this product,'” said Bianca Meger, Beyond Verbal’s vice president for marketing. The company’s technology has already been integrated into call centers, where it can show whether the caller is cheerful, distressed or outraged. But the startup believes it can do much more.

Based on research conducted with the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., the company’s long-term vision is “to detect cardiovascular diseases through people’s voices,” Meger said. What gives people with heart problems distinct vocal qualities is still being studied, but it is thought to be either a nerve bundle that connects the neck to the spine, or due to water in the lungs. Either way, blind tests have shown Beyond Verbal’s voice analysis to be highly accurate in detecting patients with heart conditions.

Since the investment, Beyond Verbal has held weekly conference calls with Kuang-Chi’s headquarters in Shenzhen to discuss how to commercialize the Israeli company’s technology in the huge Chinese market. If successful, the technology could benefit China’s 250 million migrant workers who have moved from the countryside to the cities.

“People working in cities will be able to monitor the health of their parents back home by remotely monitoring their voice,” according to Meger.


Likewise, technology could bring health care to those in Southeast Asian villages who until now have not had access to the best doctors. Populous countries such as Indonesia and Myanmar have far fewer than one physician per 1,000 people, compared with five per 1,000 in the most developed nations, according to the World Health Organization.

LONG OVERDUE “The health care business as we know it is unsustainable,” Das said. In 1960, annual medical costs for the average American came to $167. Today, the figure is $10,000. “If the same annual growth rate applied to cars, a vehicle that cost $2,600 back then would now go for $155,000.”

Car prices have not seen such out-of-control inflation because automakers are constantly looking for ways to curb costs. The same, evidently, cannot be said of the health care industry. And health is one of the few sectors where consumers have little influence over pricing; often, they are not really sure what they are paying for.

Unlike in banking, say — where people can choose the type of account they want, or whether to conduct their business in person, at an ATM or online — patients often have little input in the decisions that shape their health care. That is changing, however.

Wearable devices are one of the game-changing tools. People will be able to collect data about their heart rate, blood pressure, body mass, stress levels and living environment. That data is likely to shift the focus of health care from curing illness to prevention through monitoring and early detection.


Today, health care is centered around curative action. Pharmaceutical companies race to create the next blockbuster drug. But coming up with new drugs has become increasingly difficult and astronomically expensive. Treatments for many of the more tractable illnesses have already been developed; the ones that are left are harder.

Frost & Sullivan predicts that health care spending on treatment will shrink to 51% of the total in 2025, versus 70% in 2007. Spending on monitoring, prevention and diagnosis will grow to a combined 49% from 30%.

McKinsey & Company, another consultancy, predicts that close to $300 billion could be in play with the development of new technologies. Monitoring and early detection will reduce the volume of inpatient treatment.

Online scheduling, digitally stored health data and electronic payments could reduce administrative costs, which account for 16% of health care spending. Meanwhile, new technologies will lead to new streams of revenue, which will be fought over by incumbents and technology heavyweights.

The vast amount of data that will be stored and shared means that tight cybersecurity measures will be crucial. Health care records — including social security details, addresses and patient histories — are particularly valuable to hackers.

The transformation is coming at a crucial time. By 2075, there will be 77 elderly people for every 100 of working age in Japan, a dramatic increase from the 47 today. South Korea is forecast to overtake Japan, with the ratio reaching 80 seniors per 100 working-age people. The OECD average will be 55.

RACE FOR TALENT As they move into this brave new world, medical students will be taught principles of data science, analytics and cybersecurity as part of their studies. The companies that will benefit the most will be the likes of Google, Apple, Facebook, Tencent and Line: those with access to personal data and people’s daily habits. Advances in digital health care will also create business opportunities for companies like IBM and Intel in data storage, blockchain providers for enhanced cybersecurity and a range of companies that handle artificial intelligence and machine learning.


The race to develop new technology will ultimately come down to talent. “Key figures with AI knowledge are considered as valuable as NFL franchise quarterbacks,” said Tissue Analytics’ Keenahan. “The most coveted are students who graduate from schools such as Carnegie Mellon University, MIT and the University of Toronto.”

To extend the football analogy, these tech experts will be scouted and compensated in the millions of dollars, just like a gifted quarterback. And unlike the NFL, there is no salary cap in health care.

Nikkei staff writer Joshua Ogawa in Silicon Valley contributed to this report.



Event 18


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Event 17

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16th National Life Sciences and
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The Longevity & Biohacking Show with Jason Hartman

LS 107 – Beyond Verbal with Yuval Mor

Fernando Aires talks with Beyond Verbal’s CEO Yuval Mor about their ability to use technology to diagnose health issues. Beyond Verbal is working on technology that uses voice intonations to identify potential maladies, changes in emotion, and the potential uses the technology can be used for in smartphones, cars, and other venues.

Key Takeaways:

[3:23] How you can gain meaning out of voice intonations

[9:13] The corrolation between voice analysis and your health

[15:38] Yuval’s collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, and why they use the voice to diagnose

[19:27] How the market is reacting to Beyond Verbal

[24:16] Where Beyond Verbal is getting their voice samples to aid their research

[29:14] What technology being able to understand voice intonation could mean



Moodies Emotions Analytic App on iTunes Store

Moodies Emotions Analytic App on Google Play


Here are 7 startups attempting to seamlessly integrate AI, machine learning, and emotional intelligence.

We’ve written a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) here at Nanalyze, and just when we feel like there’s not much more we can add to the topic, we find loads more interesting companies to write about. There has been a lot of talk lately about how machines just won’t be able to capture that “human element” of emotions or “emotional intelligence” as it is often called. The act of building an emotional quotient or EQ as a layer on top of AI is being referred to as
affective computing, a topic we covered before
. The first step towards AI being able to demonstrate emotional intelligence, is that it needs to see emotions in our behaviour, hear our voices, and feel our anxieties. To do this, AI must be able to extract emotional cues or data from us through conventional means like eye tracking, galvanic skin response, voice and
written word analysis
brain activity via EEG
, facial mapping, and even gait analysis.

Here are 7 startups attempting to seamlessly integrate AI, machine learning, and emotional intelligence.

Beyond Verbal


Founded in 2012, Israeli startup Beyond Verbal has taken in $10.1 million in 4 rounds of funding to develop a technology that “analyzes emotions from vocal intonations”. The Company uses a simple microphone and a set of questions to elicit 11 emotions that describe a person’s character traits. This form of emotional analytics “listens” to vocal intonations as they are spoken. The technology is intended for marketing professionals to run customer service experience and communication campaigns while measuring things like:


In addition to marketing, there are also possible healthcare applications for this technology. The Mayo Clinic is using Beyond Verbal to identify vocal biomarkers that can help identify Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) with the belief that this technology can help provide an early diagnosis. With 2.3 million recorded voices across 170 countries and 21 years of research, they might just be in a position to make the FDA pay attention.

Want to see a demo? Here’s the Beyond Verbal technology analyzing Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly go at it:

Don’t read too much into our choice of a demo video here. We simply took the one demo off of the Company website that we thought you’d be most likely to click. If you want to try the technology on yourself, they have a free app called Moodies that you can speak into and it will tell you what emotions you’re exhibiting. Any newly minted MBAs reading this should use that technology to build a breathalyzer that you can speak into on your smartphone, then send it to us so we can use it on our writers when they come in to work in the morning.



nViso SA


Founded in 2005, nViso is a privately-held Swiss startup with a $750K grant which was originally meant to develop an automatic prediction process for accurately categorizing patients needing tracheal intubation (plastic tube down the throat) for surgeries involving general anesthesia, a very costly procedure. Like CrowdEmotion, nViso’s technology tracks the movement of 43 facial muscles using a simple webcam and then uses AI to interpret your emotions.

The Bank of New Zealand tried nViso’s technology on about 200,000 people (about 6% of all adults in New Zealand) and found that they rose from a #4 position to the #1 most preferred bank consumers would move to. BNZ also moved from #5 to #2 national rankings in terms of being a good place to manage clients money when it deployed nViso’s
. It’s kind of hard to see how that would even be possible but here’s
a case study with all the details





While the tone of your voice may disclose how you’re feeling, did you know that what you write can as well? Founded in 2014, Toronto-based startup, Receptiviti, has taken in $690K in total funding to develop a proprietary technology they called Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count or LIWC2015 which looks at what you write and then uses it to gather insights about your character, emotions, level of deception, or even how you make decisions. The Company uses a branch of artificial intelligence called Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to capture people’s emotions, social concerns, thinking styles, psychology, and even their use of parts of speech. Here’s an analysis they did on some of the literary genius produced by Taylor Swift on Twitter:


Receptiviti analysis of Taylor Swift’s Tweets from Jen Golbeck as it appears in Psychology Today.

While one obvious use might be to
make chatbots actually tolerable
, the technology can be used as a foundation for doing some serious armchair psychology on customers, employees, job applicants or even the president. That’s right, as it turns out
President Trump’s tweets are likely coming from two different sources
. We decided to ask Receptiviti what they thought about our commentary on them and here are the three attributes they came back with:


We didn’t see ridiculously good looking in there but aside from that, pretty much spot on. You can test Receptiviti yourself and see what it has to say about what you write. Go ahead and kick the tires here.




https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/c_pad,h_140,w_140/v1480701112/trw3myykvxd1igvgdlwo.png brFounded in 2016, New York startup BRAIQ has taken in $120K so far to develop technology that detects how you feel about that autonomous car that’s carting you around. The value proposition here was so compelling that BRAIQ was accepted into the techcenter program of Plug and Play, a global innovation platform that has graduated the likes of PayPal, Dropbox, and Lending Club with an admission rate tougher than Harvard (2%). While most of the design philosophies of self-driving vehicles are centered on how the vehicle interacts with its environment, BRAIQ is looking into how autonomous vehicles should interact with the passengers. 

Car manufacturers know 75% of Americans are actually “afraid’ of self-driving cars and don’t trust them. BRAIQ hopes to earn this trust by allowing their technology to intuitively read emotional signals hoping you enjoy the ride more than worrying about getting there. BRAIQ sees $4 billion of funding commitments on autonomous driving research over the next 10 years that they can tap into. With an estimated 20 million fully autonomous vehicles hitting roads by 2025, they hope their technology will be ubiquitous and enabled by hidden sensors so you’ll never even know it’s there.



NuraLogix Corporation


Founded in 2015, Toronto startup NuraLogix started with a $115K
Idea to Innovation
(I2I) grant to develop a technology that can read human emotions and can even tell if you’re lying. The startup developed a technique to “read” human emotional state called Transdermal Optical Imaging™ (TOI™) using a conventional video camera to extract information from the blood flow underneath the human face. Contrary to what Pinocchio was told, it is not the growing nose itself that can determine if you’re actually lying but the blood flow around the area of the nose. The technology has applications in the field of marketing, research, and health with the software expected to be deployed into the Cloud this year. A mobile phone version is still years down the road so you can still safely answer the “honey do I look fat in these” questions without any backlash. 





Founded in 2014, New York startup Emoshape has taken in $150k so far to develop what they are calling an Emotion Processing Unit (EPU). The startup aims to provide intelligent objects like robots, self-driving cars, affective toys or even ordinary consumer electronic products  with the capability to interact with humans via a microchip they call the Emotion Processing Unit (EPU).


EmoShape’s EPU II chip




The chip will use algorithms to identify any combination of the twelve primary emotions, allowing an intelligent device to manifest potentially 64 trillion distinct emotional states. The EPU is available for purchase so go buy one and see what it can do yourself.





Founded in 2013, CrowdEmotion is a privately-held London-based startup with a technology to gauge human emotions visually by mapping the movements of 43 muscles on the human face. BBC StoryWorks used this technology in a 2016 study called ‘The
Science of Engagement
‘ where they measured the second-by-second facial movements of 5,153 people while viewing English language international news in six of BBC’s key markets. CrowdEmotion currently offers the technology over the cloud and has a fair number of clients already including, of course, the BBC. You can
upload a video to their website
and then it will give you some running commentary on the sort of emotions you’re exhibiting. 




Our initial thoughts were that because you know you are being observed, it will make you behave differently, so this technology will probably be most effective when applied undetected. That’s not exactly true though.
According to a subject matter expert we spoke to, “micro facial expressions are really difficult to hide consciously.  We actually only see impact on the first 1-2 seconds if at all.  This has been consistent across billions of facial data points“.
The very discussion though of emotion analysis that is hidden raises privacy concerns.

We discussed this with Matthew Celuszak, CEO of CrowdEmotion, and his comments were that  “in most countries, emotions are or will be treated as personal data and it is illegal to capture these without notification
and/or consent.  How emotion companies handle CCTV data is a bit of a grey area in how notification is done, but turning on a camera or microphone without consent is a sure fire way to kill your company
“. This is certainly something to be aware of for
companies like BRAIQ that want to observe passenger emotions undetected. The next time you communicate with a smart device, think about that fact that you may be talking to something that reads emotions better than you do.

Looking to buy shares in companies before they IPO? A company called Motif Investing lets you buy pre-IPO shares in companies that are led by JP Morgan. You can
open an account with Motif with no deposit required
so that you are ready to buy pre-IPO shares when they are offered.


@RebmannResearch (Health Econ)

@BeyondVerbal (EmotionAI) 

@Revuze (AI brand mgmt.)

@2breathe4sleep (Sleeptech based on ancient science of Breathe)