Listening technology company Nuance Hearing has created a new medical device which provides relief for those suffering from hearing loss, especially from background noise.
The Voice Selector Converse helps people follow conversations in a crowded room, without the need for hearing aids.
The WHO estimates that one in five people live with hearing loss across the world, which impacts on their ability to complete daily tasks, work and manage relationships.
Hearing loss impacts overall quality of health, including added stress and anxiety
The so-called ‘cocktail party problem’ where people struggle to understand speech while in a noisy situation is one of the first signs of hearing loss. This can severely impact mental health. New research on the subject shows:
- 41% of adults admit to having the ‘cocktail party problem’ where they struggle to understand speech in a noisy environment
- 36% said noisy environments caused them stress and anxiety
- 60% of those with hearing problems said they would be open to trying out tech to help them hear in a busy environment
Using the Voice Selector Converse’s beamforming technology (a form of radio wave tech), eight microphones can track the source of sounds, reduce the level of background noise and allow the user to focus on the dominant voice.
For those using the device, there is a reduction of noise, in relation to the target sound, meaning the listener can focus and not be bothered by extra sounds.
When Nuance Hearing tested the audiology devices, it found users were able to understand speech three times better.
Creating technological solutions for healthcare
Nuance Hearing is proud to have launched an innovative tech solution to help combat hearing loss.
“Since 2015, we have been delivering powerful and advanced hearing solutions that deliver optimum performance,” said Ori Goren, CEO of Nuance Hearing. “We know that many people are suffering in silence, unable to feel comfortable or enjoy conversing in busy environments. Through innovative technological solutions, we are passionate about improving the quality of life for a diverse group of people, making every environment more accessible and helping ensure personal success and empowerment.”
Hearing loss charity, RNID, knows that sooner hearing loss is identified, the earlier someone can start benefiting from life-changing hearing devices.
“While it might not seem obvious at first, having difficulty understanding speech in background noise is usually one of the early signs of hearing loss. The ‘cocktail party problem’ is the name used to describe the brain’s inability to filter out background noise and tune into what someone is saying in a busy environment. Most people with hearing loss experience difficulty in these situations,” said Franki Oliver, audiology specialist, RNID. "It’s important to check your hearing if you start to notice difficulty in background noise, feel that people mumble, or you ask people to repeat themselves. It’s second nature for people to have their eyes checked regularly but we don’t have the same attitude towards getting our hearing checked yet. Hearing loss can also be linked to conditions such as dementia so early intervention is vital.”
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