How Utah Companies Are Using AI To “Democratize” Healthcare

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Editor’s note: This is part of a series that looks at the rise of artificial intelligence technology tools such as ChatGPT, the opportunities and risks it poses, and how they may affect different aspects of our daily lives. department.

Lehi — Adam Sharp is on a mission to help people self-manage their own mental health with the help of artificial intelligence.

After years of working in the medical field as an emergency physician and medical services researcher, Sharp was ready to make the leap and break out of the traditional healthcare system.

In 2021, Sharp, along with other medical and blockchain experts, founded Lehi-based Galvan. Fundamentally, Galvan is a company that blends ideas from healthcare and technology with the goal of “democratizing” healthcare and helping people make sound decisions, Sharp said. rice field.

Since then, thanks to Galvan’s efforts, the company released the Galvan: AI Wellness app last month. The app uses blockchain technology and syncs fitness data from Apple Watch, Fitbit or Android Watch to encourage users to be active and make sound decisions.

A blockchain is a distributed database or ledger shared between nodes in a computer network, software that people can download to their computers. According to Investopedia, the technology is best known for its role in cryptocurrency systems, where a secure and decentralized record of transactions is maintained.

“We were able to use your wearable (smart device) to confirm that you were able to reflect your heart rate to heart rate parameters during exercise. We’ll calculate it, we’ll count it, we’ll give you points,” and we’ll give you digital currency, which is our IZE points,” Sharp said.

While this isn’t entirely unique, there are some fitness apps that encourage fitness through digital currency, but what’s truly novel is Galvan’s use of AI.

The app uses AI to measure a person’s mental health through voice biomarkers. The algorithm processes millions of data points in a person’s speech through 20-second audio recordings and returns results that indicate the person’s stress, mood, and energy level.

“We are not a healthcare provider. We do not make medical diagnoses, but what we can do is actually use the same tools that physicians use in the clinical setting… And they’ll assess you and look for things like: Moderate or severe anxiety, not anxiety or mild anxiety,” Sharp said. “I can do this in 20 seconds.”

The speech analysis algorithms Galvan uses to determine speech biomarkers were developed through a partnership with Canary Speech, the speech AI team behind Amazon’s Alexa.

Sharp said there are more than 2,500 biomarkers in the human voice, and the AI ​​developed by Canary and used by Galvan is “agnostic” to language.

“We’re not listening to words. We’re listening to everything from pauses to intonations to dynamics to gaps between words and 2,500 other things,” Sharp said.

Another novel aspect of this is that users can use the app to not only assess their mental health in the moment through real-time feedback, but also track it over time to show long-term trends. Sharp said.

“For the first time ever, you can receive immediate feedback and mental health support from objective data, identify potential triggers for mental health problems, and also receive personalized recommendations for self-care and wellness practices.” Galvan said in a release.

It is not just physical activity that is encouraged.

We are not replacing doctors, we are not replacing hospitals and healthcare systems. But what we do is empower you to understand how you can better utilize it.

– Adam Sharp, Galvan Creator and CEO

“If you’re just checking in to know how you’re doing and make sure your stress and mood is at a level you can handle or not be too serious, we reward you,” Sharp said. .

Galvan also has built-in security measures designed to protect your privacy, and all data collected is anonymized and securely stored, keeping sensitive information confidential. .

The app is free to download and available in all major app stores. The app is initially free, but there is a $13.99 monthly fee or a $99.99 yearly subscription fee for the AI-enabled version where users earn rewards.

Additionally, you need to purchase a node to participate in the blockchain. The price is $25 for a “light” node and $4,100 for a “smart” node.

Sharp takes a revolutionary approach to mental health and healthcare, but it’s not completely reinventing the wheel.

“We’re not replacing doctors, we’re not replacing hospitals or the healthcare system. But what we’re doing is empowering you to understand how to use it better. ‘ said Sharpe.

He also has big ideas for Galvan’s future.

“We want to create a marketplace where people can use this (digital currency) to buy things like medicine,” Sharp said. “Whether it’s an over-the-counter drug or a prescription drug, you can use digital rewards to buy them.”

Galvan is also looking to partner with gyms to allow users to purchase gym memberships using digital currency.

This app is currently only available to people over the age of 18. Sharp said he hopes to change that in the future and incorporate the ability to use the app within the family. This was frequently requested by parents who wanted to provide extra support for their children with mental health problems.

According to Galvan’s release, Galvan has been downloaded thousands of times in the first few weeks and the app has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

“The release of Galvan is an important step forward in the field of mental health and AI,” Sharp said. “This has the potential to revolutionize the way health is monitored and managed, empowering individuals to take control of their health, making it more accessible and convenient.”

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter for, covering community, education, business and military news in Southern Utah.

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