An Exploratory Investigation of a New Substitute Voice Using a Smartphone Application

Misato Ameya, Hirofumi Sei, Sohei Mitani, Naoki Nishio, Naohito Hato
2021 Koutou (THE LARYNX JAPAN)  
Patients with head and neck cancer who undergo total laryngectomy often suffer from significant communication disorders due to permanent aphonia. While various substitutes for voice loss, including an electronic artificial larynx, tracheoesophageal shunt, esophageal speech, and written communication, have been currently employed to communicate against aphonia, few methods have used the voice of a preoperative patient. "Coestation ® " is a smartphone application that synthesizes patients' voice
more » ... nd is now clinically applied to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To verify whether this application has the potential to become a new substitute voice, we launched a clinical investigation for patients with head and neck cancer who were scheduled to undergo total laryngectomy. We preoperatively performed a voice synthesis using the smartphone application in two patients and postoperatively requested them to use an electronic artificial larynx and the synthesized voice. The patients stated that the synthesized voice was more similar to their original voice than the artificial larynx and were very satisfied about its voice quality. Based on these preliminary results, we plan to enroll more patients to assess the general usefulness of the synthesized voice as a new substitute voice. Keywords: speech synthesis, smartphone application, total laryngectomy, communication, quality of life
doi:10.5426/larynx.33.230 fatcat:kathumtxxbcyzexssidlkf7nje