What is it about?

Telehealth is here to stay—but voice therapy presents a unique challenge in a virtual world. Clinicians rely on acoustic voice recordings to evaluate treatment effectiveness, but caution should be exercised when evaluating voice via teleconferencing platforms. In this study, we found that many teleconferencing platforms distort sounds. Specifically, we investigated accuracy of acoustic measures of voice in various telepractice platforms. All platforms affected acoustic measures in a statistically significant manner.

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Why is it important?

The main takeaway from this study is that acoustic measures of voice are drastically altered by transmission over telepractice platforms. The differences observed were clinically meaningful. Thus, we recommend a hybrid approach for acoustic measures via telepractice. Clinicians should either ask clients to pre-record acoustic and send via a secure channel prior to the telepractice session to avoid platform effects on acoustic recordings, OR revise the platforms, stimuli, and acoustic measures used in voice evaluations. In terms of platforms Microsoft Teams impacted the fewest acoustic measures. Zoom and Cisco Webex caused changes to the most number of acoustic measures. In terms of measures themselves, consider using measures of vocal fo and CPPS, since they were least impacted by telepractice transmission.

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This page is a summary of: Accuracy of Acoustic Measures of Voice via Telepractice Videoconferencing Platforms, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, July 2021, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/2021_jslhr-20-00625.
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