New Delhi : In India, 3 out of every 40 people suffer from a disabling hearing loss, according to statistics from the World Health Organization. Over 68 per cent of them can benefit from using a hearing aid , however, less than 3 per cent of these are likely to have one. The reasons can range from non-availability of a hearing aid to the high cost of diagnosis and devices to stigma and a limiting mindset towards using it in social situations.
Here is some succour for the thousands of people suffering from hearing loss across India:
Mobile Ears is a free app-based solution for those with mild to moderate hearing impairment and works by making the sound loud and clear during a one-on-one or group conversation. The Mobile Ears app uses a unique speech amplification technology that works despite background noise and number of people in the room.
A product of the joint research efforts of Listen AS and Norwegian research organisation SINTEF, speech clarity is at the core of Mobile Ears. And unlike others solutions in the market, this does not sound metallic or unnatural and does not take weeks getting used to.
"Exclusion from communication can have a significant impact on everyday life, causing a feeling of loneliness, isolation and frustration. Our mission is to enable quality hearing under any environment, for everyone," says Snorre Vevstad, CEO, Listen AS. He says Mobile Ears is easy to use, requires no special devices and is beneficial for people of all ages. "I am confident that this one-click solution can be of assistance to millions of Indians who are unable to use traditional medical hearing aids."
According to WHO more than half of the adults with disabling hearing loss are over 65 years of age and South Asia has a high prevalence of such population.
Hearing loss affects a high percentage of society and this is where Mobile Ears comes in. It lowers the barriers for anyone who wants to hear better with a free and easy to use app. It helps users to lead and active life without the need to speak up/ louder with them during conversations. More importantly, it does not look like a hearing aid.
Here's how MobileEars works:
Download Mobile Ears app from the iTunes App Store
Open the app and enter the user's age & gender, so that the app can customise the listeners' experience
Plug in earphones and move the button on the slider to personalize the sound for maximum speech clarity and amplification
The smartphone can be placed on the table or in front of the users.