During spring 2023 we were part of two feasibility studies - degree projects were conducted through Karolinska Institute and Danderyd hospital
The study aimed to investigate factors affecting the feasibility of supplementary independent language training via a digital platform with speech functions for people with chronic aphasia.
During the study, Dialog was used by four patients with chronic aphasia from the Rehabilitation Medicine University Clinic at Danderyd Hospital. The patients trained independently with Dialog 3-4 times a week over a four-week period. The training was performed either at home or at the clinic and the results were evaluated via a questionnaire and a structured interview as well as via data collected from Dialog.
"The current study suggests that it is seemingly possible for PWA in the chronic stage to conduct independent supplementary language training via a digital platform with speech functions and that the method potentially has much to offer Swedish healthcare by promoting access to intensive language training."
The results show that for example aphasia type, concurrent speech apraxia or whether Dialog provides correct assessment of the performed task can have a significant impact on the implementation of independent language training with Dialog. For patients with milder aphasia, the study also shows the importance of an expanded exercise library with a larger range of difficulty levels, in order to keep the patient motivated to train continuously.
The results also show that the majority of the participants enjoyed self-training and using speech recognition for language training and that it seems to be possible for patients in a chronic stage to carry out independent supplementary language training via a digital platform with speech functions.
The study aimed to gather knowledge about the feasibility of digital self-training for people with aphasia at an early stage (subacute). Among other things, the study investigated the possibility of increasing the intensity of language rehabilitation for a person with aphasia through digital training programs. In addition, it also looked at how environmental, body and personal factors affect the feasibility of supplementary independent language training via digital training program.
"Despite this study's limited number of participants, the results show that digital independent language training in a subacute stage after stroke, as a complement to regular speech therapy, can be a way to reach the dose for intensive language rehabilitation recommended by Socialstyrelsen."
Dialog was used during the study by three patients from the Rehabilitation Medicine University Clinic at Danderyd Hospital. The patients were tasked with independent language training three times a week for a two- to three-week period, which was then evaluated through a questionnaire-based participant interview.
The results showed that all participants found it meaningful to practice language with speech recognition in Dialog. All participants also felt that the speech synthesis was helpful for their understanding of the exercises. In addition, the study pointed out that initial support from a speech therapist, individualization of tasks, and the quality of the speech recognition as important factors for successful independent training.
Despite the study's limited number of participants, the results show that digital independent language training in a subacute stage after stroke, as a complement to regular speech therapy, can be a way to reach the dose for intensive language rehabilitation recommended by Socialstyrelsen**. In the long term, this could mean cost-effective language training that complies with the national guidelines for post-stroke care.
** Socialstyrelsen: The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare produces and develops statistics, rules and knowledge for health and social services. They work to ensure good health, social welfare and high-quality health and social care on equal terms for the whole Swedish population.
Are you interested in reading the full theses? Email us at email@example.com (available only in Swedish).
We have secured funding for two ongoing projects
Dialog and the Aphasia Association in Stockholm are collaborating on a project with the goal to develop a product for conversation training for people with aphasia. The project runs from August 2023 to July 2024 and is funded by the PTS Innovation competition. The purpose of the product is to help people with aphasia, and people with other language or speech fluency disorders to practice situations that require speech interaction that may arise in everyday life. The product is being designed and tested together with a focus group consisting of members of the Aphasia Association.
From November 2023 to March 2024 we are conducting a project funded by Vinnova’s Innovative Impact Startups call, in collaboration with Multilingual Minds. Dialog is currently available in Swedish, Finnish and English and the goal of the project is to expand the product with another language; Arabic (or a specific Arabic dialect depending on initial investigations). An additional goal of the project is to investigate other multilingual patient groups that can benefit from a digital training tool. The goal of the project is to launch a version of Dialog that can be used by speech therapists in Sweden to help in the rehabilitation of people with a mother tongue other than Swedish.
More information on the project goals and objectives can be found on Vinnova's website.