Sonde Health has raised funds to accelerate the development of its voice-based biomarker technology platform.

The $16m series A round was led by M Ventures, a venture capital arm of German pharmaceutical firm Merck.

MP Healthcare Venture Management, Neoteny 4, LP, Canepa Healthcare and Sonde Health founder PureTech Health also took part.

Sonde Health’s vocal biomarker platform is designed to monitor and diagnose physical and mental disorders from voice recordings. It supports disease screening and management processes through devices such as smartphones and smart speakers.

“Our longstanding vision has been to harness the health information present in billions of daily voice interactions to create a 21st-century thermometer.”

The technology senses and analyses subtle changes in the voice and delivers a set of brain, muscle and respiratory health measurements.

The company hopes that this vocal biomarker technology will help prevent and treat multiple disorders, including depression, respiratory diseases and chronic conditions.

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Sonde Health intends to use the funding to expand its platform to include a wider range of health conditions and device types.

Sonde Health co-founder and chief operating officer Jim Harper said: “One of the oldest tools in our healthcare arsenal, the thermometer, is arguably still one of the most valuable because of its simplicity and widespread availability outside the clinical setting.

“Our longstanding vision has been to harness the health information present in billions of daily voice interactions to create a 21st-century thermometer, or vocometer, that provides broad digital healthcare decision support needed to enable new models of precision and preventative medicine.”

As part of its ongoing validation of the technology, the company has collected voice and health data from more than 10,000 subjects, to date.