OnQ Blog

Enabling Snapdragon processors to harness voice as a new vital sign [video]

Can your voice indicate your health?

Dec 9, 2021

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

The Qualcomm Platform Solutions Ecosystem Program is continually helping companies advance their technologies with our Snapdragon platforms. During Snapdragon Tech Summit 2021, we showcased another brilliant solution coming from one of our Qualcomm Platform Solutions Ecosystem members, Sonde Health, as they revolutionize the biomarker industry — now optimized for Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Voice technology has transformed the way we interact with electronic devices and access information on the go. As a result, it should not come as a surprise that sixty-five percent of adults between 25-49 report using voice assistants at least once per day. What might be more surprising is that in addition to simple searches or asking your smart assistant to play your favorite music, your voice can be a powerful indicator of your health.

This incredible opportunity has been supported by research from world-class institutions such as MIT, Harvard, and UNSW in Australia. Scientists at these institutions found that measurable voice changes occur when people get sick, are physically or cognitively impaired, or experience normal fluctuations in wellness or fitness. These claims are further supported by an ever-growing body of peer-reviewed research that focuses on analyzing human voice to detect changes in key body systems such as the brain and nervous system, the musculoskeletal system, and the respiratory system, to name a few. The implications of this research in real-world applications are fascinating.

However, this application poses some challenges. Scientists conducted most of these studies with small groups of people whose voices were recorded with high-end audio equipment in controlled environments. That is difficult to replicate, expensive, and most likely not practical for the majority of users. How can this technology be brought to billions of people in a cost-effective fashion without losing accuracy? Sonde Health is building the technology platform to answer this question.

Founded in 2015, Sonde has established strong evidence and leadership in the emerging market for vocal biomarker services. The company has built the world's largest digital biobank of smartphone and computer voice recordings with associated health and diseases measurement data. This unique resource contains over 1 million voice samples in more than 10 languages recorded from over 80,000 individuals worldwide. The top 20 health conditions represented in this biobank have at least 1000 individuals each and span neurological, respiratory, muscular, cardiac, and metabolic diseases.

Sonde is a leader in gaining insight on both respiratory and mental health through vocal biomarkers. Their data have shown that it is possible to implement vocal biomarker technology using consumer electronics with negligible loss in health measurement accuracy. In parallel, they have built cloud-based software and APIs that are now in use in smartphone apps built by Sonde and their partners. Today the first of these apps and APIs guide brief directed voice samples and provide timely measurements in two specific use cases: managing respiratory symptom risks and visualizing the history of multiple voice features associated with changes in mental fitness. Used appropriately in conjunction with other information and recommended clinical care, different apps are now helping companies reduce transmission risks associated with COVID and individuals visualize how voice features related to anxiety and depression symptoms are changing over time.



Discover the details of porting Sonde's Cloud API to Snapdragon to harness voice as a vital sign

Learn how Sonde's Vocal Biomarker Platform works, the models its scoring is based on, and more.

Check it out

Sonde and Qualcomm Technologies are now working together to optimize Sonde's cutting-edge vocal biomarker analysis for use with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Snapdragon 888 5G and Snapdragon 788G. The optimization enables devices incorporating Snapdragon processors to include engaging new and differentiated health features that take advantage of critical benefits of Qualcomm Technologies' intelligent wireless edge ecosystem.

Going back to the challenge — How can this technology be brought to billions of people in a cost-effective fashion without losing accuracy? — we now have an answer. In fact, by taking advantage of the AI acceleration available on Snapdragon, Sonde ported their cloud-based solution on Snapdragon enabled devices. Sonde can serve billions of users with health monitoring capabilities that run locally on a smartphone.  

7th Generation AI Engine: Sonde Health Demo

Dec 8, 2021 | 0:34


Qualcomm Platform Solutions Ecosystem Program is a program of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.


Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Ferdinando Olivieri

Senior Product Manager, Qualcomm Technologies

Sergio Gonzalez

Manager, Strategy & Analytics, Qualcomm Technologies

Jim Harper

COO and Founder, Sonde Health