App to help Parkinson’s sufferers communicate

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THOUSANDS of people with Parkinson’s might regain confidence communicating, thanks to a new mobile phone App to be made by a University of Portsmouth expert.

Dr Roger Eglin, of the university’s department of creative technologies, has been awarded a £35,000 innovation grant from Parkinson’s UK charity to develop two mobile phone Apps to help sufferers improve speech – and be better understood by family, friends and healthcare workers.

The Apps will have two main functions.

Firstly, it will have a ‘feedback meter’ to help people see how loud their speech is compared to background noise and indicate what adjustment is required to be heard properly.

And it will have a voice training function to encourage people to speak more loudly, which can make them easier to understand.

Dr Eglin, who will work with colleagues from Portsmouth and King’s College Hospital in London, said: ‘We will be testing our application with people with Parkinson’s at every stage of development to make sure it is effective and easy to use.’