Device to help people with Parkinson's disease communicate better now available
SpeechVive Inc. announced Wednesday (Sept. 10) the commercial launch of the SpeechVive device intended to help people with a soft voice due to Parkinson's disease speak more loudly and communicate more effectively.
The device is now available to try as a demo through the National Parkinson's Disease Foundation's Centers of Excellence prior to purchasing. People who suffer from a soft voice due to Parkinson's disease can make an appointment at any of these centers: the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix; the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Struthers Parkinson's Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Baylor College of Medicine, Waco, Texas.
"We are providing demo units and training at no cost to as many of the National Parkinson's Centers of Excellence as are interested in offering SpeechVive in conjunction with or as an alternative to speech therapy," said Steve Mogensen, president and CEO of SpeechVive. "We also are offering the SpeechVive units and training to professionals at Veterans Administration Medical Centers across the country. The first VAMC to offer SpeechVive is in Cincinnati, Ohio."
The SpeechVive device also is available to try at the M.D. Steer Speech and Hearing Clinic at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The technology was developed over the past decade by Jessica Huber, associate professor in Purdue's Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and licensed through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization. The focus of Huber's research is the development and testing of behavioral treatments to improve communication and quality of life in older adults and people with degenerative motor diseases.
SpeechVive reduces the speech impairments associated with Parkinson's disease, which cause people with the disease to speak in a hushed, whispery voice and to have mumbled speech. People with Parkinson's disease are commonly affected in their ability to communicate effectively.
"The clinical data we have collected over the past four years demonstrates that SpeechVive is effective in 90 percent of the people using the device," Huber said. "I am proud of the improvements in communication and quality of life demonstrated in our clinical studies. I look forward to seeing the device on the market so that more people with Parkinson's disease will have access to it."
More than 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and it is one of the most common degenerative neurological diseases. About 89 percent of those with the disease have voice-related change affecting how loudly they speak, and at least 45 percent have speech-related change affecting how clearly they speak.