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Ensuring the best possible hearing aid care for hearing impaired people - HörTech launches INNO-KOM project

Since July 1, Oldenburger HörTech gGmbH has been developing a measurement method for recording subjective hearing effort as part of the "INNO-KOM" funding program, which is to be converted into a marketable application for hearing care professionals and clinics. The "ACALES" procedure provides reliable results on the different perceptions of hearing effort in different hearing instruments and thus helps to ensure the best possible care for the hearing impaired.

A convivial evening in a restaurant, a big family celebration or an excursion to a city festival: Who doesn't know it, conversations in noisy surroundings are more strenuous than in a quiet environment. The more problems we have with our hearing, i.e. the greater the hearing loss, the worse the problem of the so-called "hearing effort" becomes. Hearing aids are designed to help reduce the effort of hearing for individual. But do they do this at all? Good measurement methods are needed to verify this.

The optimal care of hearing impaired people with hearing aids or cochlear implants (CI) presents hearing care professionals and ENT physicians with immense challenges. In particular, the subjective evaluation of the benefits of hearing systems in acoustically demanding everyday situations poses a problem.

With the measurement method "ACALES" (Adaptive CAtegorical Listening Effort Scaling), HörTech has developed a method for measuring subjectively perceived hearing effort, which has already been evaluated and used in scientific studies. The aim of the INNO-KOM project, which started on July 1, is to convert the measurement method into a marketable application for hearing care professionals and clinics in order to provide reliable results on the different perceptions of hearing effort in different hearing systems and thus ensure the best possible care for hearing impaired people.

"Although there have been numerous scientific studies on the subject of hearing effort, there is currently no simple tool that hearing care professionals or clinicians can use to provide their clients with a hearing aid or CI fitting that takes into account hearing effort as well as speech intelligibility. This is where our process comes in," explains Melanie Krüger, product manager at HörTech gGmbH.

INNO-KOM - Research results for medium-sized companies
The INNO-KOM innovation competence funding program supports the innovative performance of non-profit external industrial research institutions in order to strengthen the innovative strength of structurally weak regions in Germany in the long term. Since 2009, the predecessor program INNO-KOM-Ost has concentrated on non-profit external research institutions in eastern Germany. On January 1, 2017, the successful model was extended to structurally weak regions throughout Germany under the new name INNO-KOM.

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