The proposed project aims at developing an integrated , technologically assisted speech and language intervention platform for people with chronic neurogenic speech and language disorders.
The proposed project, “A Speech and language Therapy Platform with Virtual Agent”, aims at developing an integrated, technologically assisted speech and language intervention platform for people with chronic neurogenic speech and language disorders. Acquired speech and language disorders are becoming increasingly relevant for a significant percentage of the aging population and have a direct and severe effect on quality of life because they limit daily communication. The effective support of this population requires individualized, systematic and regular intervention by speech/language therapists (SLTs). The proposed project aims at developing a comprehensive platform, available via network for use with a computer, as well as a smartphone application, that will allow patients to practice wherever and whenever they wish, without the physical presence of a clinician, via the assistance of a digital character/virtual speech and language therapist (Avatar). It will also serve as a valuable clinical tool to assist clinicians with the time consuming process of routine patient assessment, and the development and execution of individualized intervention programs that will complement face-to-face clinical sessions. To that end, three research institutions and two private companies will collaborate to construct:
- Original speech and language therapy material, grounded on evidence-based intervention practices, for the support of patients with neurogenic speech and language disorders of various types and different severity levels,
- A novel system of technologically assisted speech and language intervention via a virtual therapist that will guide the patient during the clinical sessions, by providing directions, stimuli and feedback in a natural and friendly interface,
- An automated system for the evaluation of the severity of the speech and language deficits that will allow for the comprehensive assessment of the intervention progress, via novel machine learning techniques,
- A novel management system that will support SLTs in their clinical practice, allowing them to develop individualized treatment plans and assess the intervention progress without physical presence.