Healthcare professionals can now detect signs of heart disease and heart attack by listening to the pitch of someone’s voice, new research has reported.
An online system can now recognise which people are most likely to develop severe heart problems by listening to recordings of their voice.
Researchers from Mayo Clinic in the US have found that minor alterations to the pitch, frequency and tone of an individual’s voice could mean that cardiovascular complications are on the horizon.
They discovered that the individuals who had a higher score from the voice test were twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to those with a lower result.
During the study, the team of academics examined the voices of 180 adults who had been checked for coronary artery disease to assess how likely they are to experience other heart complications.
As part of the trial, each participant recorded three 30-second voice notes on their phone or digital device.
Each recording was then uploaded to an algorithm, which was specially designed to examine more than 80 components of the human voice, including pitch, cadence and amplitude.
Following the digital assessment, a score was given to each participant, ranking them as either high risk or low risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
After analysing the group for two years, the scientists found that nearly 60 per cent of the participants who were labelled as high risk were admitted to hospital with chest pain or a heart attack.
Meanwhile, only 30.6 per cent of the participants with a low score were hospitalised with a heart-related condition.
According to the findings, the participants with a high score were twice as likely to develop severe complications from coronary artery disease compared to those with a lower score.
In addition, high scorers were 30 per cent more at risk of accumulating fat in their arteries compared to low scorers.
Previous research has identified that smoking, a high-fat diet, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure can trigger the development of coronary artery disease.
Senior author Dr Jaskanwal Sara said: “We’re not suggesting that voice analysis technology would replace doctors or replace existing methods of health care delivery, but we think there’s a huge opportunity for voice technology to act as an adjunct to existing strategies.
“Providing a voice sample is very intuitive and even enjoyable for people, and it could become a scalable means for us to enhance patient management.”
Dr Sara added: “Much more research needs to be done on using voice analysis to assess heart health before it could be used clinically.
“Further studies are needed to determine if the results could be replicated in different languages and accents.”
Prior research has used voice monitoring to detect other health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, COVID-19, Parkinson’s and heart failure.