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Advanced Digital Stuttering Therapy Tools

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ADST (Advanced Digital Stuttering Therapy Tools)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2018-12-31

People with speech disorders, such as stuttering, are challenged in their daily life, and often suffer from social exclusion and employment difficulties. Statistics show that 10% of the population suffer from speech impediments. Health systems are spending about €32 Billion annually on speech therapy. While other healthcare practices are progressing rapidly, speech therapy has not adapted yet ICT practices and still operates traditionally with pen and paper. The “National Stuttering Association” indicates 84% relapse in stuttering therapy – 5 out of 6 patients will continue to stutter after therapy.

NiNiSpeech Ltd. (NiNiSpeech) is revolutionizing Speech Therapy using unique digital technologies. The company selected to first address the most difficult speech condition - stuttering condition. The Advanced Digital Stuttering Therapy Tools (“ADST”) project aims to improve the therapists’ and the patients’ experience, boosts the therapy outcome, and reduces therapy cost.

The unique IT system provides an ultimate environment for the person who stutters (“PWS App”) to assimilate speech techniques in the brain, equips the Speech Language Pathologist with a first view to real-world speech (“SLP Dashboard”), and incorporates an improved detection and measurement of speech qualities.

The ADST project's objectives are: (a) Scaling up the system (b) Localization to various languages (c) Compliance with regulation (d) Successful field trials.
During the project NiNiSpeech focused on the following activities, and achieved the following results:

* Localization - Algorithms were localized and validated in several European languages. The system - UI and content - was localized to various languages.
* System upscale - The ADST system was scaled up to meet the company's business plan. Scaling was tested and validated.
* Integrations - External IT systems were integrated with and into the ADST system, to provide a comprehensive solution for digital speech therapy.
* Trials – Within the 2-year project, NiNiSpeech conducted alpha and beta trials with leading clinics in Israel, France and Portugal. This has become one of the largest trials in the field of stuttering and among the few multi-site trials in the domain.
* Publications – ADST unique technologies have been published in prestigious journals and top conventions. The technologies entered text books and SLP university courses, on their way to become a gold standard.
* Discussions and Demonstrations to Stakeholders – Met hundreds of stakeholders, including SLPs, healthcare organizations, regulation authorities, universities, insurers, associations and others. Presented and demonstrated ADST.
* Regulation – NiNiSpeech passed all the regulatory requirements in order to provide speech therapy in Europe, USA and Israel. Specifically, NiNiSpeech was the driving force behind regulatory change in Israel, allowing digital speech therapy.
* Intellectual Property – NiNiSpeech expanded its patent portfolio to cover additional aspects of the ADST system, developed within the H2020 project. The company also claims copyrights on therapy protocols and content generated, and significantly extended its unique database.
* Communication Activities – During the project NiNiSpeech was very active in presenting the unique ADST offering in digital media, events and conventions, press and blogs as well as with investors and eco-system.
* Commercialization - The commercialization path was distilled and verified. It now includes a partnership model, already proven with significant partners.
* Partnerships – Following the excellent results achieved in the project, NiNiSpeech implemented its partnership model, and closed several deals. NiNiSpeech is the first to strike a digital speech therapy deal with an Israeli HMO.
* Investment – The company secured additional investment from strategic investors.
The ADST project offers a revolution in speech-language therapy. Novel elements include:

- Automatic measurements of Speech Language Qualities (SLQ) - demonstrated, validated, researched, and presented at leading academic events by KOLs.
- Innovative therapy service delivery model - client-centric and modular. Tested and proven to achieve high engagement and assignment completion.
- Close loop therapy - Enable speech therapists to monitor adherence, compliance and progress of their patients
- Protocol-based therapy - Provides a structure for therapy, ensuring quality intervention, reducing overheads, and enabling big-data analysis.

Based on ADST, NiNiSpeech is on a journey to make a significant impact:

10% of the population suffer from speech impediments. Speech disorders often result in personal, social and professional obstacles. Therapy works well in clinic, but may not achieve expected results due to lack of training out of clinic (National Stuttering Association). Transfer of in-clinic speech to out-of-clinic is the biggest speech therapy challenge. ADST addresses the dire need for:
1. Increasing therapy success rate
2. Boosting patients’ compliance with therapy
3. Measuring performance and progress
4. Evidence-based treatment for payers and research