We had never imagined that we could win the Imagine Cup World Final.
It has been a long time after the end of the contest. And we keep thinking about what people with speech impediments need, and what we can do for them.
What causes stuttering?
The exact cause of stuttering is unknown. Recent studies suggest that genetics plays a role in the disorder. It is thought that many, if not most, individuals who stutter inherit traits that put them at risk to develop stuttering. The exact nature of these traits is presently unclear.
Many theories have been proposed regarding the cause of stuttering, ranging from genetic and other organic explanations to learned, environmental, or linguistic accounts.
Is there an instant cure?
There are no instant miracle cures for stuttering. Therapy, electronic devices, and even drugs are not an overnight process. There are lots of so-called “treat your stutter in 7 days” method on the web, however, it is questionable regarding the effectiveness of these methods.
However, a specialist in stuttering can help not only children but also teenagers, young adults, and even older adults make significant progress toward fluency.
There are three main approaches therapists use today to help improve fluency, that is,
Fluency Shaping (e.g. Continuous phonation, prolonged speech)
Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF)
Stuttering Modification/Management (based on the premise that stuttering may involve a physiological predisposition).
What can BoneyCare do?
BoneyCare hopes to benefit people with speech impediments as well as their therapists.
When people go to the therapists, they usually have to do a routine check on their speech fluency. It is time-consuming for both patient and therapist.
Patients have to pay for the time when they are doing tests, and therapists have to listen to the recording manually to mark the stuttered syllables and find the patterns.
BoneyCare uses a cloud-based algorithm to find the problems in the speech, and provide results for patients and therapists instantly.
We’ve also developed several tools for patients to improve their speech fluency, including Delayed Auditory Feedback and BoneyCare Free Speech (We provide a topic for patients to talk).
With the help of BoneyCare, patients can do speech fluency tests at home, or on the go. They can save their money and time by using BoneyCare to record their speaking and get computer-generated feedback instantly on how well they are doing.
Therapists are able to link with patient’s account, get raw voice data, grade manually, track patients progress, and see if the therapy works for his patients. We hope to increase the productivity of therapists to help them focus on the patient and the therapy, not the tests. Additionally, we hope to provide insights for them based on our data and use machine learning to help them find which therapy might be most effective for a specific patient.