New Biomedicine and Biomedical Engineering Study Results from University of Bologna Described (Testing software tools with synthesized deviant voices for medicolegal assessment of occupational dysphonia)
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Current study results on Biotechnology have been published. According to news originating from Bologna, Italy, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "The measure of acoustic parameters related to dysphonia has long been one of the main research challenges in voice analysis. When the origin of the voice disorder is occupational, the medico-legal and insurance aspects must be considered, involving, when relevant, the definition of a percentage of physical impairment (usually 1-10% according to the guidelines)."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Bologna, "An objective aid capable of quantifying these levels is desirable for assisting the medico-legal expert. Vocal fold nodules in voice professionals are mentioned in the European List of Occupational Diseases. Generally, such voices are slightly to moderately deviant, and mainly characterized by audible air escape (breathiness), due to insufficient vocal fold closure. Mild amounts of jitter may also be present. No studies have been published so far testing the ability of software tools to discriminate levels of added noise in signals when the amount of noise is exactly known. In the present study, four program tools (BioVoice, PRAAT, MDVP and AMPEX) are tested on realistic synthesized voice signals corrupted by 4 slightly increasing levels of jitter and 10 levels of additive noise close to the degree of dysphonia occurring in real patients with vocal fold nodules. The results show that the four tools are able to correctly estimate both jitter and noise levels. Specifically for noise, in some cases the agreement is close to 100%."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Thus they could be of help to clinicians in determining the level of impairment to quantify compensation in patients affected by an occupational voice disorder."
For more information on this research see: Testing software tools with synthesized deviant voices for medicolegal assessment of occupational dysphonia. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, 2014;13():71-78. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control can be contacted at: Elsevier Sci Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, Oxon, England. (Elsevier - www.elsevier.com; Biomedical Signal Processing and Control - www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/706718)
The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from N. Rruqja, University of Bologna, Dept. of Elect Energy & Informat Engn, Bologna, Italy. Additional authors for this research include P.H. Dejonckere, G. Cantarella, J. Schoentgen, S. Orlandi, S.D. Barbagallo and C. Manfredi (see also Biotechnology).
Keywords for this news article include: Bologna, Italy, Europe, Biotechnology, Software
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