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ATLAS project: Using AI to detect language disorders

ATLAS will provide speech and language therapists with an automated screening tool to detect developmental language disorders. ATLAS is currently in development, and beta trials will be run later this year.

Project objective

ATLAS is a groundbreaking new development project which aims to provide speech and language therapists with an automated screening tool to detect developmental language disorders, saving NHS speech therapists 90 minutes per patient.

By utilising advances in machine learning and a unique dataset, we will produce a technology with the ability to directly interpret speech from children with developmental language disorders. The fact that child speech input will be directly recognised, transcribed and parsed for analysis will dramatically simplify screening and assessment sessions.

More information will come as ATLAS continues the research and development stage, and as results from the first tests com in.

Project output

Current NHS resources allow for much less time than is needed to evaluate the language abilities of a child, meaning that therapists are making decisions on incomplete and inaccurate information. Using speech recognition, acoustics analysis and advanced machine learning, ATLAS will automate this process and allow further time for SLTs to evaluate their patients, and allows better planning for each child.

The framework will offer both fixed analysis using industry standard measures (such as mean length of utterance, type token ratio) as well as more in depth analysis of the language structure and content. In parallel the machine learning framework will run to either consolidate or supersede the outcome of the standard measures.

Meet the team

Rebecca Bright in front of our blackboard Therapy Box logo

Rebecca Bright, MBE

One of Therapy Box's co-founders, Rebecca Bright brings clinical experience as a speech and language therapist with the unique expertise of creating specialist software for the industry. In the 2016 New Years Honours List, Rebecca was invested as a Member of the British Empire (MBE) recognising her work in developing innovative technology solutions for people with disabilities. Her clinical experience and ability to work closely with patient groups has helped the company deliver on its objective of patient focussed products.

Swapnil Gadgil in front of our blackboard Therapy Box logo

Swapnil Gadgil

Swapnil Gadgil, is the Therapy Box co-founder and CEO, with over 16 years experience working in commercial settings following completion of a Masters of Information Sciences and a Master of Business Administration. He oversees operations at Therapy Box, working closely with the project managers and development team. He has a particular interest in the use of machine learning approaches, and has a focus at Therapy Box to drive the R&D in this area, with a clear commercial steer underpinning all projects.

James Longbottom in front of our blackboard Therapy Box logo

James Longbottom

Senior Project Manager at Therapy Box, James Longbottom leverages his product design background in designing user experience. A strong focus in human computer interaction and usability drives his projects. He is overseeing management of the project day to day.

Federico Lorello on a beige background Therapy Box logo

Federico Lorello

Federico is a web developer at Therapy Box. In this project he'll be taking responsibility for managing the database, DevOps, and he'll also be building the CI/CD systems.

Yyvonne Wren in front of a plain white background North Bristol Trust Logo

Yvonne Wren BSc (Hons), MEd, PhD, Cert M RCSLT

Dr Yvonne Wren is Director of Research at Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit, North Bristol NHS Trust and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, focusing her research on speech development and disorders in children, and she has worked extensively with the population cohort study, Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac). Recordings collected from children at ages 5 and 8 as part of this study will be used in the development and testing of the tool.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk).