Behavioral Evaluation of 3 Smartphone-Based Hearing Aid Apps for Patients with Mild Hearing Loss: An Exploratory Pilot Study - medtigo



Behavioral Evaluation of 3 Smartphone-Based Hearing Aid Apps for Patients with Mild Hearing Loss: An Exploratory Pilot Study

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J Int Adv Otol. 2022 Sep;18(5):399-404. doi: 10.5152/iao.2022.21469.


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the behavioral performance of a selection of currently available hearing aid apps in patients with mild hearing loss.

METHODS: We investigated 3 user-friendly hearing aid apps (EarMachine, Sound Amplifier, and Petralex) with real-ear measurement, warbletone audiometry, word recognition testing in unaided and aided conditions, and hearing-in-noise tests in quiet and noise-front conditions in a group of users with mild hearing impairment (n=7) as a pilot for a future long-term investigation. Results from the apps were compared with those of a conventional hearing aid.

RESULTS: Hearing aids showed greater gain at 1 and 3 kHz than hearing aid apps in real-ear insertion gain of real-ear measurements. Hearing aids tended to have greater gain than hearing aid apps at 2 and 3 kHz in the sound field audiometry test. The clinical performance of the listeners tended to be better when using a hearing aid and Petralex (13% and 6% improvement in word recognition score, respectively), while EarMachine and Sound Amplifier conferred limited user benefit. The hearing aid apps did not improve signal-to-noise ratio in comparison with the unaided condition in the hearing-in-noise test.

CONCLUSIONS: Some hearing aid apps were beneficial for patients with mild hearing loss in terms of amplification, but participants using the apps showed no improvements in hearing-in-noise tests.

PMID:36063096 | DOI:10.5152/iao.2022.21469


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