A Scotland-based hearing test developer who hopes to ‘revolutionize’ the assessment of hearing loss is calling for volunteers to take part in a new hearing test trial.
Based in Edinburgh Hearing diagnosis has developed a new type of hearing test in which the patient wears a headset fitted with a motion sensor and turns their head in response to random, multi-directional sounds.
So far the test has proven to be more accurate than existing systems in pilot testing and is believed to be more resistant to tinnitus (ringing or buzzing), imaginary sounds and background noise.
The company’s co-founder and chief executive, Claudia Freigang PhD, said she was particularly concerned that some people shielding themselves during the pandemic, or those reluctant to undertake a hearing test up close, may have “let their hearing deteriorate undetected”.
Freigang said: “Now, more than ever, we need an accessible, simple and reliable hearing test, and that is what we believe we have developed at Hearing Diagnostics.”
With the Scottish Government’s announcement last week of the easing of Covid restrictions, Hearing Diagnostics said it intended to move its testing to its next phase and needed volunteers – some of whom will have hearing difficulties and others not – to help prove the effectiveness of his hearing test.
Those who register for the hearing test, which will not be paid, must be able to attend testing sessions in central Glasgow or Edinburgh during the months of February, March or April 2022.
To participate in the trial, participants must enroll if they are between the ages of 25 and 75, have experienced mild, mild-to-moderate, or moderate-to-severe hearing loss, and have no existing mobility restrictions.
Once this phase is complete, Hearing Diagnostics said the system will be tested by high street hearing aid retailers before a global market launch.
According to the World Health Organization, 466 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss and two-thirds of all adults over the age of 70 suffer from this disease.
However, it is estimated that 86% of people with hearing loss in the UK are unaware of it and yet early detection is key to its effective management.
Freigang added: “Hearing loss, if left untreated, can have a debilitating impact on anyone’s life and we believe passionately that getting hearing care early can make life with a loss hearing easier to manage.
“That’s why we developed this system, which is more robust and, in our opinion, more accurate than existing hearing tests. It does not require an audiologist to perform the test and can be performed outside of hospitals without the need for a soundproof booth. All of these factors make our hearing test more accessible than ever.
“Every volunteer who comes forward to ‘lend an ear’ will make a significant contribution to making the diagnosis of hearing loss easier and more accessible to everyone.” They will also have the benefit of learning more about their own hearing ability at the same time.
To participate in the trial, Hearing Diagnostics has asked those interested to email: p[email protected]
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