Liopa wins healthcare contract with new AI lip-reading technology
ECIT spin-out company, Liopa, has secured its first commercial contract with a UK based hospital for its Artificial Intelligence (AI) lip-reading app, SRAVI (Speech Recognition Application for the Voice Impaired).
Following significant investment in Research and Development with the support of Invest Northern Ireland, SRAVI is now licensed for use across inpatient units at the Royal Preston Hospital in England.
Fabian Campbell-West, CTO and co-founder of Liopa, said: “We have developed SRAVI specifically for ICU and Critical Care patients who have lost the ability to speak for numerous reasons, including tracheostomies. Essentially the technology brings a voice to the voiceless by using Visual Speech Recognition and AI technology to support patients, deciphering speech from lip movements. Patients mouth words into their smartphone camera and the SRAVI app will read out what they are saying. This improves communication between patients, families and healthcare staff, which is so important for patient care and wellbeing.”
Established in 2015, Liopa is a spin-out SME from the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and has also undertaken a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with QUB as the academic partner which helped it to enhance the system’s audio speech recognition.
Fabian added: “We’re proud to be leading the way in a first of its kind technology which has helped us to secure our first contract with Royal Preston Hospital. Moving forward, we want to help people with various medical conditions including stroke, trauma and paralysis and hope to see SRAVI implemented in more hospitals across the UK and beyond. We’re also excited to see where SRAVI will take us, with plans to move into new sectors including Automotive, Digital Healthcare, Finance and Security markets.”
Invest Northern Ireland offered Liopa £289,423 of support towards R&D to develop its visual speech recognition system, secure international patents and undertake marketing activities.
Congratulating the company on securing its first contract, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research and Development, said: “Liopa is an ambitious company that has shown how strategic investment in R&D can lead a company to be more competitive. We’ve supported Liopa’s growth since its inception, helping it to create intelligent, pioneering products that are a real benefit to the healthcare sector. I am pleased that our support, combined with a KTP, has helped it to secure this significant contract with Royal Preston Hospital.
“Now, we’re working with Liopa as it invests in future growth plans. Our Eastern regional team is working closely with the company to provide expert advice, marketing intelligence and support the implementation of a strategic marketing plan to develop its presence in new markets and sectors. I look forward to following Liopa’s future global successes.”
In recognition of Liopa’s commitment to innovation, it has been awarded a Gold Level Innovator Certificate from Innovate NI.
Invest NI is committed to driving innovation in Northern Ireland and is a proud partner of Innovate NI, a Department for the Economy programme, helping local businesses innovate successfully. For further information, visit www.innovateni.com
Liopa has also availed of funding from Co-Fund NI, part of Invest NI’s Access to Finance suite of debt and equity funds. Co-Fund NI and Invest NI’s R&D support are part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014–2020.
This support is part funded by the Department for Economy Economic Recovery Action Plan.