March 9, 2014

Phoneme-based self hearing assessment on a smartphone.

Phoneme-based self hearing assessment on a smartphone.
IEEE J Biomed Health Inform. 2013 May;17(3):526-9
Authors: Choi JM, Sohn J, Ku Y, Kim D, Lee J

Phonemes provide an interesting alternative to pure tones in hearing tests.We propose a new smartphone-based method for self-hearing assessment using the four Korean phonemes which are similar to the English phonemes /a/, /i/, /sh/, and /s/. We conducted tests on 15 subjects diagnosed with mild to severe hearing loss and estimated their conventional pure-tone hearing thresholds from their phoneme hearing thresholds using regression analysis. The phoneme-based self-hearing assessment was found to be sufficiently reliable in estimating the hearing thresholds of hearing impaired subjects. The difference between the hearing thresholds obtained through conventional pure-tone audiometry and those obtained using our method was 5.6 dB HL on average. The proposed hearing assessment was able to significantly reduce the mean test time compared to conventional pure-tone audiometry.

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COMMENT: what a great way to reduce costs and increase the number of people screened for hearing loss.