The development of medical devices is a complex process, involving many stakeholders. Often, the point of view of future users (i.e. physicians and hospital staff) is neglected or is taken into account only at a relatively late stage of development, leading to an inefficient, and sometimes even ineffective, development process. The overall goal of KIZMO is therefore the development of a prototypical clinical platform for promoting user integration in the development and testing of innovative medical technologies. The Clinical Innovation Center for Medical Technology Oldenburg (KIZMO) was initially established for a limited range of fields (audiology, phoniatrics, otorinolaryngology, and neurosurgery) at the Lutheran Hospital in Oldenburg. Following successful assessment, the concept is to be made available to other fields of medical technology on a permanent basis. The focus is on tools for diagnosis and treatment used by physicians and clinical staff.
The introduction of cochlear implants meant a revolutionary change in the lives of the severely hearing impaired and deaf.
The ability to integrate information from both ears is a critical factor in hearing. Although bilateral implants (i.e. independent implants in each ear) allow this to some extent, the temporal information that is necessary for true binaural hearing is completely lacking.
"Network for multilingual Hearing and speech intelligibility diagnostics"The University of Oldenburg is a European leader in the field of speech based hearing diagnostics, particularly in the field of speech intelligibility tests in noise. In addition to the German testing methods (Oldenburg Sentence Test, Oldenburg Children's Rhyme Test, Oldenburg Children's Sentence Test, Göttingen Sentence Test), foreign language tests (English, French, Dutch, Polish, Swedish) were also developed as part of the European Hearcom Project.
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Since speech and sounds are key elements to our increasingly communication-oriented society, many hearing impaired persons must live with restrictions due to their condition. Usually, commication conditions are provided for adults with normal hearing with the communication language as their mother tongue. Great disadvantages thus arise for vulnerable groups such as those with hearing deficits, children, youth and foreign speakers.
In the past, significant progress in developing the technology of hearing aids (including theoretical foundations, algorithms used and the clinical evaluation and optimization of techniques for individual patients) has been achieved. On top of that the quality of medical care has advanced to a higher level. Nonetheless, the demands of the technology especially in complex listening situations, as well as customisation and operation of the equipment could not yet be satisfied. A reason for this is the lack of implementation of new findings from hearing research, acoustic research and development of algorithms for improving the performance of technical hearing aids (i.e. especially conventional hearing aids). An important part of hearing aids is the individual fitting for different needs, especially when considering the fact that each person has a different type of hearing impairment.