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360 Million People World Wide Suffer Hearing Loss

Hearing Services, Humanitarian

According to the World Health Organization, 360 million people worldwide – a full 5 percent of the population – suffer from disabling hearing loss. The majority of these people live in low and middle-income countries where access to hearing testing is limited or non-existent.

At SHOEBOX Audiometry, a division of Clearwater Clinical, we believe that large-scale screening – while challenging – is possible in low-resource environments using innovative technology. So we took SHOEBOX Audiometry, our clinically validated, FDA and Health Canada-approved digital audiometer, to Canada’s far north, where we tested over 200 children in 7 days. Next, we took SHOEBOX to Uganda and provided much-needed hearing tests to another 600+ children.

SHOEBOX is an innovative portable audiometry device with a customizable and configurable “interactive play” interface. It makes testing easy and fun for anyone – from the very young to the elderly.  Since it is iPad-based, it is portable enough to administer tests from virtually any location – schools, clinics, nursing homes, or hospitals – anywhere in the world. Results can be saved, printed, and immediately sent by email to the healthcare system, helping improve the efficiency of clinicians and doctors. And its low cost makes it an attractive alternative for small or new practices, including those in developing countries and larger hearing centers that need to test more patients. SHOEBOX Audiometer can help hearing professionals be more efficient and more productive.

A very large percentage of the 360 million people worldwide who suffer hearing loss would benefit from early identification and intervention. Making hearing testing possible for more people in more parts of the world is a crucial first step. To learn more about how to apply “interactive play” audiometry techniques in audiometric testing using a mobile audiometer, read the research paper The New Age of Play Audiometry authored by Dr. Matthew Bromwich, Assistant Professor Pediatric Otolaryngology at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and inventor of the SHOEBOX.

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