Title Touch screen app detects childhood hearing loss Degree of recognition Regional Media name/outlet NSW Government Health Media type Web Country Australia Date 10/12/18 Description Sound Scouts involves a number of game-based activities, which children play by responding to a series of audio cues. It tests for three types of hearing and auditory processing problems: sensorineural hearing loss, caused by damage to the inner ear or nerves; conductive hearing loss, whereby sounds fail to pass into the inner ear; and a type of auditory processing disorder that can make it difficult to understand speech when there’s background noise.
It is effective at detecting hearing loss in 85% of children who suffer from it.
The federal government’s adoption of Sound Scouts was the result of years of campaigning and lobbying ministers. Following the 2010 senate inquiry, universal school entry hearing tests were considered, Mee says, “but barriers included cost and finding a scalable solution to test the hearing of approximately 310,000 children that start school each year. To test that number of children with an audiologist was prohibitive”.
Great benefits to children and communities
By the time a second senate inquiry on hearing health was completed in 2017, Sound Scouts had benefitted from a $1.1 million grant from the NSW Government’s Medical Devices Fund to further its development. An evaluation by Macquarie University had also revealed that Sound Scouts was cost effective, finding that for every $1 spent on the app, it would deliver $10 worth of benefit to children and their communities.
Producer/Author NSW Government Medical Research URL https://www.medicalresearch.nsw.gov.au/touch-screen-app-detects-childhood-hearing-loss/ Persons Mutsa Gumbie, Henry Cutler, Carolyn Mee, Harvey Dillon