Hearing loss presents a significant global cost impact, including the costs to productivity as well as the cost of long term healthcare. With an ageing population and legislative requirements to screen and protect workers from occupational hearing damage, the traditional method of audiometric screening in which tests are run on a 1:1 basis with a qualified audiometrist is expensive. However, recent studies have concluded that the economic benefits of widespread screening significantly outweigh the costs. In order to offer much more widespread access to high quality screening, the use of mobile devices offers significant potential, being low cost and widely available if they can be made sufficiently accurate. This study tested a web based software system, installed on a tablet computer which was paired with a particular headphone type and calibrated in accordance with IEC 60645-1:2001. The system was tested with a patient group to define its ability to offer accurate and repeatable screening. A cohort of individuals with a high rate of hearing loss was chosen; a group of subjects aged 60+ from a residential care home on the south coast. Each individual underwent two audiometric evaluations, using both a traditional audiometer operated by a trained audiometrist and the tablet system, and the results are reported here, along with suggestions as to the potential of mobile technologies for widespread audiometric screening.
|Title of host publication||Institute of Acoustics 40th Anniversary conference|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2014|