In the late 1950’s portable audiometers were developed as an effort to reach populations without access to hearing tests conducted in controlled environments by highly trained professionals. At their least impressive, a portable audiometer is a stripped down tabletop audiometer with a handle attached. Notably, many rugged systems have been successfully used throughout the world in challenging environments. To a large extent, these portable audiometers still require a power plug and a modicum of expertise to operate. With the advent of mobile technology, we have witnessed the transformation of dated, portable audiometers into a new breed of powerful, simple-to-use, internet-connected mobile audiometers.
According to the World Health Organization, 360 million people worldwide – a full 5% 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.