Depressed? Just say the word

Diagnosing depression could become a much quicker and easier process if a computerised voice analysis system being devised by a Melbourne scientist comes to fruition.

Diagnosing depression could become a much quicker and easier process if a computerised voice analysis system being devised by a Melbourne scientist comes to fruition.

Theage.com.au reports that a researcher at RMIT University is working on a computer program specially designed to detect depression in teenagers by analysing their voices.

The researcher, Margaret Lech, hopes to identify distinctive characteristics in the voices of depressed people using a computer program that can scan voice data.

The hope is that, using voice recognition software, an easy-to-use system can be developed that could be rolled out in schools as a kind of early warning device for depression.

“We want to develop an objective system that could be applied by people with no clinical knowledge about depression,” Lech says. “The latest research shows that depression starts at an early age, so if it’s detected it will help a teenager understand their behaviour and learn how to deal with it.”

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