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Language Explorer Study Aims & Milestones

Funding

This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [NIHR200889 i4i]. It is a collaborative product development project which started in November 2019 with the aim of designing, developing and evaluating a language sampling tool that can save time for speech and language therapists.

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Aims

1.  Design and develop an engaging app that can be used by children across the UK to gather data about how children retell stories
2.  Compare how the technology analyses language with the
expert research associates at Newcastle University
3.  Test the app with children and clinicians in three NHS sites
around the country
4.  Deliver a UKCA marked app that can be used to save time
and money and provide rich data about language.

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Milestones

In 2020 we embarked on a challenge to gather samples of children across the UK retelling the treasure themed story within the Language Explorer app. We needed 600 children aged from four to eight, covering a range of socio-economic groups and from around the country. We were so pleased to reach this target. Following that the Research Associates at Newcastle University have transcribed and analysed the samples by hand, which has been compared with features in the tool as well as being used to train machine learning models.

 

We have started our first in-clinic sessions using Language Explorer. There are currently three sites participating in the evaluation of the app within this project - Bristol, Newcastle and Hackney. Clinicians at each of the three sites will use the app with the children who use their service and we will compare the performance of the children to their performance on standardised assessments. We are also asking the clinicians, children and parents what they think about Language Explorer. 

Team

This project brings together expertise from across clinical, technical and academic domains. The collaborating organisations are Therapy Box, Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit at North Bristol NHS Trust, Newcastle University and Sirona.  

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Rebecca Bright MBE

Primary Investigator
Therapy Box

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Swapnil Gadgil

Co-Investigator

Therapy Box

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Dr Yvonne Wren

Co-Investigator
BSLTRU

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Prof. Cristina McKean

Co-Investigator
Newcastle University

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Geraldine Bates

Co-Investigator
Sirona Care & Health

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Elaine Ashton

Research Associate
Newcastle University

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Dr Jen Chesters

Senior research associate
BSLTRU

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Alex Woodward

Technical Project Manager
Therapy Box

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Federico Lorello

Lead Developer
Therapy Box

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Dr Sam Harding

Senior Research Associate
BSLTRU

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Stuart Gough

Developer
Therapy Box

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James Bartholomew

Developer
Therapy Box

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Onkar Dangre

UI UX Designer
Therapy Box

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Namrata Alandkar

Quality Analyst
Therapy Box