Queensland company unveils new AI-powered wearable voice prosthesis

Being able to speak is a core part of the human experience. It’s how we interact with our loved ones, communicate our thoughts, and express our deepest emotions. While many people live with disabilities that impact their ability to communicate verbally, there is one medical procedure that can swiftly alter a person’s mental health and quality of life: a laryngectomy. Typically conducted to remove cancer of the larynx (aka the voice box), a laryngectomy swiftly and unexpectedly takes away a person’s ability to speak. Laronix, a Queensland-based medtech company, has developed revolutionary new tech that gives a voice back to larynx amputees.

Bionic Voice is the world’s first-ever smart wearable electronic voice prosthesis, capable of generating male, female, and singing voices  for larynx amputees. Pre-existing voice substitution technology generated a robotic voice quality, and/or required invasive positioning within the user’s body. Whereas Bionic Voice voice generation is controlled naturally through breathing into a wearable or handheld unit. Additionally, it is coupled with a smart, trainable machine-learning algorithm that will soon be capable of adapting the quality of the voice it produces over time to sound closer to the patient's own pre-laryngectomy voice.

Laronix developers demonstrate its capabilities

The initial iteration of the Bionic Voice technology was invented by Dr Farzaneh Ahmadi during her postdoctoral term at Western Sydney University, beginning in 2015. She and her brother Dr Mousa Ahmadi went on to found Laronix in Brisbane in 2019. Laronix has reached a series of achievements that have allowed them to scale and bring the product  to patients. Laronix has partnered with two university hospitals, expanded operations into the United States, passed FDA and the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (TGA) regulatory requirements, received over A$3 million in funding, and the device is currently undergoing active clinical trials. Bionic Voice is slated to be released to the public this year.

Dr Ahmadi and her team represent everything powerful about Queensland’s life sciences industry. We’re innovative, diverse problem solvers who can see an issue affecting lives, and are willing to put in the years of hard effort to develop real solutions to that issue – and ultimately change lives for the better worldwide. We at LSQ are excited to see Laronix and Bionic Voice grow and develop further into the kind of business that becomes a force in the global life sciences industry and transforming the life of patients.

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