A mobile phone app to detect hearing loss

A mobile phone app to detect hearing loss

Representative image. (Getty images)

A free online/offline hearing screening tool was launched here on Monday, on account of World Hearing Day on Tuesday.

The app has been developed by Nayak’s Hearing Clinic. M S J Nayak, director of the Clinic, said, “It is a test that consists of pure-tone of different frequencies and speech stimuli, 20 each. To administer the test, a person has to be seated at a distance of six feet from the TV or computer along with a companion and shouldn’t vary the volume of the system used to deliver the test.”

During the test, the person has to count the number of tones heard and write down the speech stimuli heard. After the completion of the test, he/she can evaluate hearing by the number of stimuli he/she has heard over the companion.

Many such apps are available on Google Play.

Dr Megha S, Assistant Professor, Diagnostic Audiology, Dr Chandrasekhar Institute of Speech and Hearing, said that as audiologists, they need to check how reliable each app is. She said they use audiometers to evaluate hearing and that no app can replace them.
“At our institute, we are assessing these apps and haven’t come up with any tool ourselves, yet,” she said.

Speaking on the issue, Dr Shivashankar, former head of Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Nimhans, said, “The WHO has a similar tool called HearWho where digits are played in various frequencies. This has been available for years now.”

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