Administration of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment by Electronic Devices and Virtual Clinicians

Several electronic devices have been recently adapted to make LSVT® available to individuals who are far away from the clinic, to improve practice at home, and to reduce cost of treatment and clinician time. These devices, for example, a personal digital assistant (PDA), have been adapted with special software to deliver LSVT® or other types of speech therapy programs (130). One such PDA, named the LSVT® companion (LSVTC), has been programmed to collect acoustic data and provide feedback as it guides the patient through the LSVT® exercises. Instead of the usual 16 treatment sessions of clinician-delivered LSVT®, only 9 sessions are with a clinician and the other seven are completed independently at home by the patient utilizing the LSVTC and a virtual clinician. Pilot studies have demonstrated a marked and long-term (six-month follow-up) improvement in voice and speech with the LSVTC, with treatment outcome comparable to that obtained with the original clinician-administered LSVT® (130).

These findings support the feasibility of using state-of-the-art technology to administer speech treatment and keep records of patients' progress.

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