Hearing aid application to improve hearing
Welcome to our website. This website, among other things, provides information regarding a hearing aid app. Shortly, it is an application that can improve hearing of people with a hearing loss. This page serves as a structure for this website with basic information and links to more details. We hope that you find this website useful and stay tuned for more.
Functions of a hearing aid app
While a traditional hearing aid is a separate device, a hearing aid app is a software that works on a device, for instance a smartphone. Simply, sound input is the microphone and headphones work for the sound output. The overall goal of a hearing aid app is to improve quality of life.
In the application stores (Google Play, iTunes), there are a number of such applications and more are emerging. It is not an easy task to create such an application. Furthermore, differences in phone types and headphones create risks in output quality. Below you will find a short list of pros and cons of a well-performing hearing aid application.
- Adjustable to user’s hearing profile that can be updated regularly with a hearing test
- Offers an adjustable output level (volume)
- Noise cancellation
- Cheaper than traditional hearing aids, some providers offer their applications for free
- Higher adoption and usage rate than traditional hearing aids, less social stigma
- Potentially safer than other unofficial hearing aids, if providers can limit output level of volume
- Can be used on a need-basis, assisting especially those with mild hearing losses in suitable circumstances
- Accessibility is easy and fast, the process of having a hearing test followed by a hearing aid can take time
- Limited output of performance to users with a severe hearing loss (above 55 dBHL)
- Not an officially accepted medical device, lacks recognition
- Not many well-performing applications available
Background of these applications
Hearing aid apps are not a new phenomenon. In the past they have been called smartphone-based hearing aid applications and there have been surveys exploring the utility, potential and benefits.
One important benefit is that adoption rates of traditional hearing aids are low. According to some rough estimates, over half of new users with installed aids discontinue their usage. Traditional hearing aids should be used continuously. In comparison, a hearing aid app provides a less-restrictive possibility on a need-basis.
Future of hearing aid applications
Hearing losses traditionally derive from physiological or lifestyle reasons. Problem with a hearing loss is that hearing cannot be recovered. Considering that natural hearing loss is a given proportion of population, lifestyle reasons vary during times. Historically factory work without ear-protection has caused hearing losses that in developed countries has almost disappeared. Current challenge is the consumption of media with different devices with unhealthy output levels. It can be seen that hearing loss especially among youngsters is increasing and over a billion are at risk to suffer a hearing loss (WHO 2015).
Considering that the need for hearing aids is increasing, providers would seek for best delivery channels of hearing aids. Therefore, a cheaper application offering flexibility to users is needed. However, it will take time before high quality hearing aid applications, especially with a recognition to be a medical device, are offered.
This website has been launched by a university research project group that is on an adventure to create a hearing aid app for Android. With this website our aim is to provide useful information and to collect ideas and feedback of such applications. See page our story for more.