iParkinsons iOS app — $99.99
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iParkinsons is an iOS app for diagnosing and treating the speech disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease, including hypokinetic dysarthria. iParkinsons requires little or no training, therapy, cognitive effort, or exercises and can be used by persons experiencing cognitive decline.
iParkinsons changes how your hear your voice in earphones, in three ways:
- Multitalker babble noise treats hypophonia or low vocal volume. It sounds likes a party with people talking around you. This induces the Lombard effect and increases vocal volume 5-10 dB. 
- Delayed auditory feedback (DAF) treats festinating speech or "run together" words. The user hears his or her voice delayed a fraction of a second. This helps pace the user’s speech.  
- Pitch-shifting frequency-altered auditory feedback (FAF) changes the pitch of the user’s voice in his or her earphones. This increases speech motor activity and articulation clarity in some persons with Parkinson’s.
iParkinsons also provides a visual display of your vocal volume. You try to get your voice into the red zone, indicating that you are loud.
- Intelligibility increases of 85–625%.
- Loudness increases of 3–10 dB.
- 20–40% decreases in speaking rate.
- Carryover in some patients.
- Mr. B is in his 70s. His speech is rapid and unintelligible. He read at 191 words per minute with 4% intelligibility. With DAF set at 75ms and training to slow down, he read at 113 words per minute and 25% intelligibility. Results: 625% increase in intelligibility, 41% decrease in speaking rate.
- Michael read at 148 words per minute and 5% intelligibility. His vocal volume was adequate. With his SmallTalk set at 70 ms and -0.4 octaves his speaking rate slowed to 122 wpm and intelligibility rose to 16%. Results: 300% increase in speech intelligibility, 20% decrease in speaking rate.
- Jesse is 61 years old and has moderate Parkinson’s. His baseline had adequate vocal volume and 32% intelligibility. With 88ms DAF and -0.25 FAF he tried to talk as slowly as he could. Intelligibility rose to 49%. Jesse than took off the device and spoke at a normal speaking rate and 59% intelligibility. Results: 85% increase in intelligibility, carryover after removing the device.
- Anne Marie’s DBS eliminated a tremor but made her unable to walk and reduced her vocal volume. Her articulation is clear and she has no pacing problems. Standard Babble Noise increased her volume 10 dB but she slurred words. Advanced Babble Noise increased her volume 7 dB without slurred words. Results: 7 dB increase in vocal volume, excellent intelligibility and pacing, no hearing impairment.
iParkinsons is uniquely effective for diagnosing what speech disorder(s) a person has. The speech-language pathologist can push a button to make a client speak louder; push another button to pace the client’s speech; and push a third button to increase articulation clarity. Each type of auditory feedback will make an individual’s speech better or worse. In an hour the speech-language pathologist can see what the client’s therapy needs should focus on.
Treatment Outside the Speech Clinic
If iParkinsons improves a person’s speech, the speech-language pathologist can recommend that the person buy iParkinsons, or can recommend buying another, simpler device. If a person only needs DAF pacing, then a SmallTalk, Basic Fluency System, or School DAF may be easier to deal with, or these devices may be approved by third-party payers such as the Veterans Administration or state programs.
If a person needs multitalker babble noise or needs a combination of DAF and multitalker babble noise then the speech-language pathologist can recommend that the person buy iParkinsons.
How To Buy iParkinsons
Consumers should try iParkinsons with their speech-language pathologist before buying. If you don’t have a speech-language pathologist contact us for a referral. You will have to pay your speech-language pathologist for her time.
If you have an iPhone or iPod touch you can buy iParkinsons from the App Store. Apple doesn’t allow returns or refunds for apps bought from the App Store.
Schools get the app for half-price with their educational discount.
The best microphone and headphones is a Sennheiser PC230 with a Headset Buddy 01-PC35-PH35 adapter. If an initial evaluation with the Sennheiser PC230 headset doesn’t find an effect, then there’s no reason to try other microphones or earphones.
The lowest-priced option is to use any headphones or earphones with your iOS device’s internal microphone and hold the microphone close to the user’s mouth. This only works in a quiet environment.
Another popular option we sell is an Iasus NT3 throat microphone with an earphone molded to fit the user’s ear.
We recommend that speech clinics also get a headphone splitter and headphones for the speech-language pathologist to hear what the patient is hearing.
iParkinsons instructions are on their own webpage.
 Darling, M. & Huber, J. Changes to Articulatory Kinematics in Response to Loudness Cues in Individuals With Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, Oct 2011; 54: 1247-1259. This paper reports that multitalker babble noise induced a 10 dB increase in vocal volume in persons with Parkinson’s.
 Blanchet, P., & Snyder, G. Speech Rate Treatments For Individuals With Dysarthria. Perceptual and Motor Skills, Vol. 110, Iss. 3 (June 2010) doi: 10.2466/pms.110.3.965-982.
 Kessler, L., Solomon, N., & Grill, S. Effects of altered auditory feedback on festinating speech in Parkinson’s disease (conference presentation, unpublished). This longitudinal study addressed short- and long-term effects of DAF and FAF on speech rate, naturalness, intelligibility, and speech disability (modified Voice Handicap Index, mVHI) in 6 men with Parkinson’s and festinating speech. Participants provided repeated-baseline data, wore a binaural SmallTalk daily, and returned monthly for 6 months for retesting. Two participants were non-compliant for wearing the device and withdrew from the study before its completion. The four who completed the study reported or demonstrated improved speech while wearing the device. Three participants purchased it at the conclusion of the study and continued to report benefits 2 years later.
Webpage last updated: July 23, 2014
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Great app and well worth attending an assessment of suitability with a Speech Pathologist. Has made a huge difference for people with PD who are affected by dysartric speech patterns. Great support and trouble shooting provided by the app developer as you need it.
iParkinsons is a well-crafted and developed app that improves the lives of its users. It helps people access a more functional voice with minimal effort from the individual. It helps people to access a voice that many people have gradually lost over years. The difference it makes for people is amazing; people who have been house-bound due to festinating speech and low intelligibility are now able to confidently express themselves in a range of settings. If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of Parkinson’s disease contact your local Speech Pathologist and trial iParkinsons to see the difference for yourself.