A Spanish hospital has announced a pilot program to trial a smartphone app intended to monitor patients for signs of heart failure through voice alone.

The app, named HearO, is designed to monitor a patient’s speech pattern, using artificial intelligence to track voice biomarkers, and to look for signs of congestive heart failure (CHF) as part of a rollout across multiple medical disciplines.

The app is being adopted by the General Hospital of Valencia and the Valencian Society of Cardiology and the study intends to include cardiologists, internists, healthcare practitioners, and patient populations in hospital and at-home settings.

Lorenzo Fácila, a specialist from the Cardiology Service of the General Hospital of Valencia, said: “Since June, 30 patients from our Heart Failure Unit have participated in the pilot program.

“By implementing this technology, our doctors can monitor patients at home for the first time. In addition, it also helps train patients in their self-care while improving their everyday lives.”

The tool has already been tested and validated in Israel and the United States and had been previously introduced in Spain at the Hospital Bellvitge by AstraZeneca.

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The company has said that previous studies found that the app has predicted 79.6% of decompensations in stable CHF patients up to 18 days before occurrence.

César Velasco, director of innovation and digital strategy at AstraZeneca, said: “Projects such as the HearO application are an example of how innovation and the implementation of new AI technologies are revolutionizing the health field, advancing prevention and diagnosis capabilities, and improving the quality of life and health of patients.”

Previously, smartphone apps have been found to be able to assess blood flow in a wrist artery for patients undergoing coronary angiography more accurately than a traditional physical examination.

Additionally, GlobalData predicts that the regulated medical app market is estimated to reach $12.1bn by 2030.