Liopa gets a yes for its speech-recognition software

Tech firm backed by Invest NI wins contract with UK hospital for its lip-reading application

Invest Northern Ireland-backed software developer Liopa has won a contract to provide technology designed to aid speech recognition to Royal Preston Hospital in Britain.

Spun out from the Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies, Liopa has developed a lip-reading application, Speech Recognition Application for the Voice Impaired (SRAVI), that uses artificial intelligence.

The company and development agency Invest Northern Ireland confirmed on Monday that Royal Preston Hospital in England has licensed SRAVI for treating in-patients.

Fabian Campbell-West, chief technology officer and Liopa co-founder, said that it developed SRAVI for intensive and critical care patients who have lost the ability to speak for various reasons, including tracheostomies.


“Patients mouth words into their smartphone camera and the SRAVI app will read out what they are saying,” he explained, adding that this improved communication between patients, families and staff.

Invest Northern Ireland contributed £289,423 towards Liopa’s research and development bill.

Dr Vicky Kell, its director of innovation, research and development, said the agency was working with Liopa as it invested for future growth.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas