Virtual care platform Life365 partners with vocal biomarker company Canary Speech

Steven Loeb · April 1, 2024 · Short URL:

Both companies are participants in the Microsoft for Startups program

The US population is aging, and that population is increasingly preferring to age in their home. That has led to a rise in technology, including remote patient monitoring and telehealth, as well as artificial intelligence, such as OpenAI, to monitor patients, and to help identify the patients that require early intervention or proactive care.

Life365 is a virtual care platform that connects to patients in remote locations, typically at home, streamlining vital sign data, such as weight, glucose, and blood pressure, to their doctors and AI systems, helping manage and monitor patients remotely.

Now the company will be integrating AI-driven voice biomarkers with its wearables and sensors, though a partnership with Canary Speech, a developer of vocal biomarker technology for virtual health monitoring on conversational speech, which was announced on Monday.

Both companies are participants in the Microsoft for Startups program, as well as integrated to the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare platform, which they plan to leverage to scale new, proactive care technologies.

"Canary Speech has the same mission as Life365: to help reduce overall healthcare costs by shifting the point of care to a less expensive location, meaning home instead of the hospital.  Both companies are aligned on the same platform, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, and realize the importance of near real time and actionable data coming from the patient outside the four walls of the hospital is critically important to the new value-based care initiatives being put in place currently," Kent Dicks, CEO of Life365, told VatorNews.

"In addition, both companies have a significant patent portfolio on wearables, sensors, AI, and voice biomarkers. This is the IP/technology needed to scale to greater populations of patients in an economic manner."

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Life365 provides kits for remote patient monitoring (RPM) that connect over 500 medical devices, including scales, blood pressure monitors, and pulse oximeters, through a variety of different ways, including smart phone, tablet, wearables, and Internet of Things (IoT). The data is sent via Bluetooth to the connect device, then to the cloud for storage and review.

The company's typical customer are those that are financially responsible for the patient under new care plans, such as hospitals, health systems, providers, payors, and large self-insured employers.

Life365 also has a subcontract agreement with the Veterans Administration (VA), which was announced last year, for monitoring tens of thousands of veterans to reduce ER visits and hospitalizations. With the VA, the company also helps with increasing access to care, especially in rural locations.

The Utah-based Canary Speech, meanwhile, can achieve real-time vocal analysis in as little as 20 seconds of speech using smart devices. Its vocal biomarker technology unlocks voice as a vital sign, and its technology provides real-time vocal analysis to screen for energy, stress, and mood level. 

The company's current research models respiratory conditions, dementia and Alzheimer’s, and clinical deterioration.

Canary Speech is part of the “Lite” footprint of technology using the microphone on the users smartphone or computer to get early indications of issues, which is especially important in telehealth visits that became popular during the pandemic, Dicks explained.

"We have partners that use the camera on the smartphone or computer to gather vital sign information, like blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and heart rate, instead of having to deploy additional devices," he said.

"All of this allows 'Lite' technology to be used to intervene proactively in larger populations to provide proactive, or presemptive, care. Instead of waiting for a patient to get sicker and send an ambulance, our vision is to enable fast response teams, on the phone or in home visit, days in advance to an issue occurring."

Life365 and Canary Speech have been working together over the last 18 months through the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Microsoft for Startup initiatives, and have documented use cases where large enterprise healthcare companies are approaching both companies to provide solutions that include RPM, voice biomarkers, and facial acquisition of data.

"We realize that the industry needs to have a full integrated consolidated solution on a common platform and we are developing a common dashboard together, especially for telehealth visits, which allows for multiple data points about a patient to understand their baseline of care," Dicks explained, noting that this is especially useful when telehealth companies do not use the same physicians and need to understand visually how the patient is doing. 

"This combination is a must to scale to larger population of patients across a shrinking provider and caregiver base. Patients are getting older and have chronic conditions and the number of providers is shrinking. We need to use technology more to help solve the gap."

Ultimately, the goal of this partnership is to help provide new models of care being able to address larger populations of patients proactively, with fewer providers.

"We should see interventions occurring earlier with identification of patients that are becoming sicker, heading to a more expensive state. We should see costs going down, while access to quality of care going up. We should see providers an care givers satisfaction increasing because of identifying those that are critical to receive care, instead of them having to weed through patients and emails to figure out who is quickly becoming a potential issue and needs preemptive intervention," said Dicks. 

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