The VocaLog (TM), developed by Griffin Laboratories in California, uses a neck accelerometer to collect data, and it can also be set to beep or vibrate, serving as an external "cue" or reminder to patients that their vocal intensity has fallen below normal loudness levels, or a loudness level set by the therapist.
The monitor collects data for up to three weeks to assist clinicians in identifying vocal patterns, and also assists patients in adhering to their voice and speech therapy program. For persons with Parkinson's, it may help to encourage appropriate voice levels. For others, it may help to maintain voice rest or reduce inappropriate voice use such as excessive loudness.
The device may help researchers and clinicians identify reasons why some patients fail to retain voice improvements achieved in the therapy setting once they are at home. For persons with Parkinson's, analyzing several weeks of voice use data may also help physicians and clinicians understand ways medication, stress, and fatigue affect voice use, as well as provide information about the benefits of ongoing external cueing strategies as therapy tools for maintaining healthy voice use.
A "beep" or vibration which reminds a person to speak louder may be a helpful training tool for some or it may be perceived as "annoying" as one of my patients described it.
Additional information about this relatively new device can be found at:
In an upcoming blog, read about a new iPod application for Parkinson's speech.