Aural Analytics raises $4.3M for voice-based cognitive health monitoring

The company was also the recipient of a recent NSF research grant.
By Dave Muoio
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Aural Analytics, a startup using speech analytics algorithms to gauge changes in brain health, has raised $4.3 million in seed funding.

The round was co-led by Morningside Ventures and Tamarisc Ventures, with additional support from Six Street Partners Group managing director Jamie Gates, Marc Abramowitz, Arizona Tech Investors and Desert Angels. The company also noted the recent receipt of a research grant from the National Science Foundation.

WHAT THEY DO

Aural Analytics’ platform has so far been deployed in four continents and for eight different languages, according to the company’s website. The artificial intelligence engine collects speech samples through a smartphone or tablet app, and uploads these to a cloud server for analysis. From these, the company can generate insights on the speaker’s neurological health, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The platform comes set with APIs so that provider clients can integrate these services across the continuum of care.

“Our company was built on over 25 years of NIH and NSF-funded research and data across the spectrum of [central nervous system] diseases. Since our founding in 2015, we have led with speech neuroscience first and successfully brought to market a transparent, model-driven, clinical-grade suite of analytics that are effective in any language, for any disease, anywhere in the world,” Daniel Jones, cofounder and CEO of Aural Analytics, said in a statement. “This additional capital along with our extensive industry and research partnerships have set us on a course that will bring clinically-validated, scientifically-driven speech analytics to all corners of the globe.”

WHAT IT’S FOR

Aural Analytics noted that these funds will help the company expand its clinical trial platform, as well as release an integration portal for speech collection and analysis alongside other clinical-grade mobile and web products. In addition, the company said that it has plans to release several research tool kits “that will power new breakthroughs in speech neuroscience and speech analysis.”

MARKET SNAPSHOT

Startups like NeuroLex, Sonde, WinterLight Labs have each developed platforms that rely on vocal biomarkers such as pitch, volume, vocabulary and other variables to detect physical and cognitive disorders among speakers. Similarly, Israel and Massachusetts-based startup Beyond Verbal has long employed voice clips to detect a speaker’s emotional health — an area that Bloomberg recently reported is also of interest to tech giant Amazon.

ON THE RECORD

“Aural Analytics represents the most scientifically sound and technically viable approach to using speech as a method to detect and measure changes in brain health. The long sterling history of speech neuroscience sets Aural Analytics apart in the industry,” Dr. Gerald Chan, cofounder of Morningside Group, said in a statement. “We believe the Aural Analytics digital platform will bring about a safe, transparent and far-reaching change in how we detect, measure and eventually diagnose neurological disease. We are happy to support their global expansion and I look forward to watching their progress.”