The new US-focused mHealth app, which is called hearAmerica, will be officially revealed and showcased at the American Academy of Audiology’s upcoming annual conference later this month in Nashville, Tennessee.
The hearAmerica app will be the first such mobile comprehensive hearing screening app available in the US. The technology was developed by the University of Pretoria and is able to provide accurate detection of hearing loss in less than three minutes.
By using the free app, which will be available for both iOS and Android smartphones, the American public will be able to test their hearing through screening and receive an accurate detection of hearing loss. In addition, the app offers personalised hearing tracking and has an in-app patient-centred decision support tool. It will also link to the closest audiologist, if a hearing problem is detected.
According to a 2016 study by the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 15% (37.5 million) of American adults aged 20 to 69 have some trouble with hearing and approximately 28.8 million could benefit from the use of hearing aids.
As the baby boomer population ages, more Americans are forced to face hearing health challenges. Growing numbers of younger Americans are also reporting hearing problems. While age is still the greatest factor in hearing loss, younger people experience hearing problems due to multiple factors including birth defects, illness, exposure to loud music and noises including occupational noise.
“Many people don’t realise that they’re suffering with hearing loss, and others cannot take time from their busy schedules to find an audiologist,” said President of the American Academy of Audiology, Jackie Clark, PhD.
“In some cases, the cause is temporary or a symptom of another illness or disease. The soon-to-be-released technology, hearAmerica, will make hearing screens and the ease of connecting to licensed audiologists readily available to everyone,” continued Clark.
“Moving into the US in partnership with the American Academy of Audiology is an exciting next big step for hearX,” said hearX Group CEO, Nic Klopper.
“It’s about consolidating our success and experience to date to bring the best possible product to the highly competitive and consumer-driven US market,” concluded Klopper.