The innovation project with Maastricht University Medical Center+ intends the clinical development of vocal biomarker for dyspnea (shortness of breath).

For Zana, this collaboration marks an excellent opportunity to expand its technology in the domain of respiratory diseases and vocal biomarkers.”

— Dr. Julia Hoxha

KARLSRUHE, BW, GERMANY, May 4, 2022 / -- Maastricht University Medical Center+ (MUMC) and Zana Technologies GmbH (Zana), a German-based provider of Conversation AI-enabled chatbot and voice assistants, today announced the start of their collaboration project “Telemonitoring Asthma and COPD with AI-driven voICe AnalysiS” (TACTICAS). It aims to validate patient-facing solution for health monitoring and identify vocal biomarkers for dyspnea. These biomarkers would help physicians to detect disease progression remotely and treat their COPD/Asthma patients on time.

In this collaboration, Zana provides a patient companion mobile app, utilizing its proprietary Healthcare Conversational AI platform. The in-app companion assists the patient daily to track symptoms and vital signs, as well as to capture their voice through dedicated speech tasks combined with appropriate physical exercise.

“For Zana, this collaboration marks an excellent opportunity to expand its technology in the domain of respiratory diseases and vocal biomarkers ” – said Dr.-Ing. Julia Hoxha, CEO of Zana, who has been personally committed to the conception and execution of this project. “We have been working very closely with the MUMC+ team to shape the patient app and train its voice assistant to fit the patient group, which includes both young and elderly patients. We strongly believe that this technology has impactful implications in clinical research and practice. We are eager to exploit this opportunity together with the medical center”.

The collected voice recordings and patient-reported outcomes (ePROs) will be analyzed by the consortium, which also includes as partners the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK). The goal is to establish a relevant relationship between vocal characteristics and shortness of breath (dyspnea) in COPD and Asthma patients.

MUMC+ will conduct the clinical study with the objective to validate the feasibility of such AI-based telemonitoring solution and the identified vocal biomarkers. “COPD and Asthma are conditions of the respiratory system, which impacts the human voice, too. We anticipate that through new AI-driven technology, we are able to find vocal patterns that indicate the grade of dyspnea and possible exacerbations (acute disease worsening),” said Dr. Sami Simons, Pulmonologist at MUMC+, who is heading the TACTICAS study. “Complementary to traditional tests, we nowadays need innovative digital solutions to continuously assess patient health remotely and detect their disease deterioration in time, so that we can reduce unnecessary hospitalizations.” Dr. Simons informs that his research team at MUMC+ has now started patient recruitment for the study.

This strategic collaboration, bringing together four interdisciplinary organizations as the medical center, innovative technology provider Zana, and two research institutes, aims to provide alternative, patient-centric and highly scalable tools for intelligent monitoring of patients´ health in respiratory diseases.

About Zana

Zana Technologies GmbH is a provider of CE-marked, GDRP-compliant digital companions with chatbot and voice assistance for the healthcare industry.

The company works with healthcare and clinical research organizations, such as University Clinic Würzburg and Alcedis GmbH. It offers pharma and med-tech companies patient companion solutions for remote clinical trial and post-market research. The company has established R&D partnerships with top university clinics to advance its award-winning Conversational AI platform and applications in indications such as of Heart Failure and respiratory diseases.

For more information, visit

About MUMC+

Maastricht University Medical Center+ is known both nationally and internationally for its focus on prevention. In other words, it goes beyond recovery alone to help people maintain and actively improve their health. In addition to top-level clinical diagnostics and top referral patient care, its core tasks are medical research and training, areas in which it is well known for its multidisciplinary and problem-based approach. Maastricht UMC+ has 715 beds, approximately 7000 staff and 4000 students. It is a member of the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (see also

For more information, visit,,, and

Health Foundation Limburg raises money to fund clinical research at Maastricht UMC+ (see

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