Technology January 10, 2022
Stamurai – an app to help you learn and practice speech therapy exercises for stuttering
Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted. Stuttering though incurable, it is possible to reduce the disfluencies in the speech through various speech therapy exercises. Stamurai app, developed by 3 friends with lived experience of stuttering, provides speech therapy for over 10 million stuttering or stammering people in India.
NewzHook talks to one of the founder of Stamurai, Mr. Meet Singhal who shares more details about the speech therapy app – ‘Stamurai’ with our readers.
NewzHook: Who are the people and what is the motivation behind developing Stamurai?
Meet Singhal: We are 3 founders. Anshul Agarwal, Harsh Tyagi and myself Meet Singhal. All of us are IIT Delhi graduates and two of us stutter. We have been stuttering since we were children and it has had a huge impact on our lives. We have personally felt the pangs and toils of stammering and have closely experienced the inadequacies of the existing solutions. Around 3 years ago I was helping Anshul with his speech when we came up with the idea that maybe we can codify the entire experience and in the process make speech therapy accessible, affordable and higher quality for everyone and that’s how we started with Stamurai.
NewzHook: What problem does Stamurai App aim to solve?
Meet Singhal: Stuttering affects over 80 million people in the world. It can severely interfere with a person’s social and professional life. Most people who stammer are not comfortable seeking help considering the stigma surrounding stammering and continue to live with the disability without receiving any support. There is not much awareness about stuttering and this leads to a lot of misconception regarding the diagnosis and treatment.
Traditional 1-to-1 speech therapy is expensive (costs over INR 40,000), prone to relapse (over 80% relapse rates) and inaccessible to most people (1 speech therapist for every 32,000 affected people in India).
Stamurai solves this by its tech enabled speech therapy approach. Because of the automation we are able to reduce costs to less than 10% of the current costs. And since it is tech based, the solution is infinitely scalable reaching even the remotest regions in the world. And since the app is always in your pocket, speech therapy is available 24×7 and never really has to end, decreasing the chances of relapse.
Building a startup has given our lives meaning. The journey is tough but it is worth it. We are grateful to all the people who have enabled us to take a shot at pursuing our dreams.”
NewzHook: How does the Stamurai app work?
Meet Singhal: Stamurai is a speech therapy app for stammering with the following features:
- Instructional videos to teach speech therapy exercises.
- Tools to practice the exercises customized for each user
- A self-help group, with P2P practice and support.
- AI based speech analysis for real time feedback
- Speech therapist for real time consultations
When a user first starts to use the app, we ask them a few questions to understand how stuttering has affected them and their lives. Based on their answers we provide them with a customized, guided training plan. Users can practice for a minimum of 15 minutes a day and as they progress with their speech therapy, the plan adapts as required. Users are provided with scientific assessments as well as daily statistics which can help to keep track of their journey.
There are also plenty of tools such as breathing techniques, guided meditation, group practice sessions and much more which can further help users to follow through with their daily practice and keep up with speech therapy in the long run, which could otherwise be a very tedious process.
This is provided at <10% the cost of traditional speech therapy and in different languages, making affordable and high-quality speech therapy available to the masses.
NewzHook: How well has the app been accepted?
Meet Singhal: Initially, the app was basic in nature but over time we have improved the clinical functionality and user experience. We have over 100,000+ installs across 155 countries.
We have won the ZS Prize, Social Alpha Assistive Technology Challenge, HDFC Smartup challenge, Prosus SICA challenge and have also been featured on the App Store as app of the day.
Customised training plans, speech exercises, guided meditations for stress relief, counselling tools based on CBT and group calls for real life practice – the Stamurai app has it all. Stamurai provides the motivation and engagement you need to persevere on the journey towards fluent and confident speech. With over 30+ tools to help you fight stuttering, Stamurai is the surely a friend you need to become a confident speaker.
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