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.
The joint project started on January 1st 2008. Its goal is to consequently implement models coming from different research disciplines (e.g. electro-acoustics, psychoacoustics, hearing physiology, individual psychology, audiology, hearing aid acoustics) and domains of application (e.g. room acoustics, speech processing, audio technology, hearing aid technology, hearing aid fitting, marketing) into hearing aids. The result would be innovative technical hearing aids which meet the demand of the hearing impaired. Through consequent interconnection and interaction between model developers, algorithm developers and application and development teams the improvements of conventional hearing aids would be substantial. The synergy between hitherto largely separate development teams working on conventional and implantable hearing systems also offers the opportunity for mutual enrichment.
Research: University of Applied Sciences Oldenburg / Ostfriesland / Wilhelmshaven, HörTech GmbH, Hannover Medical School, University of Giessen, University Hospital of Cologne, University of Oldenburg
Transfer and implementation: Hörzentrum Oldenburg, Siemens Hearing Instruments