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Medical News & Perspectives
January 27, 2021

When the Human Voice Speaks Volumes About Lung Function

JAMA. 2021;325(12):1130-1131. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.22460

As Anil Singh, MD, MPH, tells the story, the idea of using the human voice as a potential indicator of lung function was hatched several years ago by Pennsylvania software engineer Satya Venneti during phone conversations with her mother in India.

Over the span of a few weeks, Venneti became concerned about her mother’s voice, which had become hoarser and slightly breathier. Her mother insisted that she was fine and had no symptoms, but Venneti was still troubled. Her parents had just moved and complained about the polluted air. Out of an abundance of caution, Venneti asked her mother to visit her physician, who diagnosed an early asthma exacerbation. She was put on a daily inhaler regimen and now has her respiratory issues under control.

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