BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND – 20 November 2023 – A Real World Validation (RWV) study has been concluded in the North of England, comprising a joint effort between UCLAN, Liopa, and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The study tested the efficacy of using the SRAVI lip-reading app in a real-world NHS hospital environment. Hospital clinicians have been using SRAVI since 2020 with their patients at Royal Preston Hospital’s ICU and high-dependency units. A small number of these clinicians completed a questionnaire to assess whether SRAVI is effective at enabling easier and more accurate communication between voice impaired patients, healthcare staff and carers/family members.
The UCLAN (University of Central Lancashire) project, in collaboration with the NHS Innovation Agency, was led by Dr Jane Ward for the Business, Management and Enterprise research centre. A clinical team from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, led by Professor Shondipon Laha, enabled the RWV study.
Dr Jane Ward, study leader, said:
“We’re hopeful that this study will provide evidence of the efficacy of SRAVI. The use of SRAVI may equate to both cost and time saving benefits to the NHS, and an improved health service to patients. This report may assist in the implementation of SRAVI into other areas of the NHS, allowing these benefits to be realised by patients and hospital staff across the UK.”
Key findings from study
A summary of five key findings from the report, as well as recommendations, are listed below. Interested parties who want to receive the full report may request one via email at this address.
Finding #1: 80% of clinicians said that SRAVI was ‘moderately easy’ or ‘easy’ to use with patients
- 50% of respondents said it was moderately easy
- 30% said it was ‘easy’
Finding #2: The perception of clinicians was that their patients felt positive overall about using SRAVI
- In this open-ended response, clinicials reported that SRAVI made their patients ‘Less frustrated’; that they were ‘keen to give it a try’; and that their ‘patient can communicate easily with SRAVI if they have no other problems’
Finding #3: Half of clinicians felt that SRAVI positively affected their patients
- 40% said that it made their patients’ lives easier
- 10% said that it made their patient more comfortable
Finding #4: Half of clinicians said that using SRAVI made their own lives easier
Finding #5: For at least 40% of clinicians, SRAVI was more useful than other communications aids they’ve used
- A further 30% said that it depends on the patient and their condition
- Overall, the report found that patients who meet certain criteria will get the most benefit from using SRAVI. These criteria include: having the necessary cognitive skills to understand use of the app, be oriented and in stable condition, and be able to understand English.
- This RWV finds that SRAVI can provide benefits to certain types of voice impaired patients, such as those listed above, and their family members. This in turn can improve patient recovery times and so reduce the cost of patients’ rehabilitation.
- Results indicate that use of SRAVI can be extended from ICUs to any other environment where voice impaired patients who fit the above-mentioned criteria are cared for. Thus, it is recommended that widespread use of SRAVI throughout appropriate areas of the NHS be expedited.
How to Obtain the Report
Anyone interested in viewing the full report can email a request to email@example.com.
How the SRAVI app is used
The lip-reading app is designed to assist hospital patients to communicate with caregivers including their doctors, nurses and therapists. Voice-impaired patients include those who have undergone a tracheostomy, a common procedure required for critically unwell patients who require prolonged mechanical ventilation. These patients are rendered voiceless, as the tracheostomy tube passes through their vocal cords preventing speech, but they can move their lips normally.
SRAVI’s aim is to help patients communicate more naturally and easily, while also helping medical staff to manage their health care for the best possible outcomes. SRAVI empowers patients to take a proactive role in their care and recovery, improving their quality of life while their voice is impaired.
Evidence for the need for communication aids
Research shows that the inability to communicate during a critical care stay is a major source of morbidity – and it prolongs hospital stays. SRAVI may help patients to experience lower rates of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. A further possible benefit is that the use of SRAVI reduces patient rehabilitation times. This is especially important on critical care units where beds cost approximately £2000 / day (compared to general ward beds costing about £100/day). These beds are in high demand, so freeing up capacity would allow many other patients to benefit.
More about Liopa’s AI-based lip-reading technology
SRAVI is based on LipRead, Liopa’s Visual Speech Recognition system. The system analyses and translates lip movements into recognisable words. SRAVI, when pointed towards the patient, captures a video of the patient mouthing phrases and analyses the lip movements. These are translated into text, which can then be read by the user or made audible via “text to speech”.