Self-fitting hearing AIDS

status quo and future predictions

Gitte Keidser*, Elizabeth Convery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A self-contained, self-fitting hearing aid (SFHA) is a device that enables the user to perform both threshold measurements leading to a prescribed hearing aid setting and fine-tuning, without the need for audiological support or access to other equipment. The SFHA has been proposed as a potential solution to address unmet hearing health care in developing countries and remote locations in the developed world and is considered a means to lower cost and increase uptake of hearing aids in developed countries. This article reviews the status of the SFHA and the evidence for its feasibility and challenges and predicts where it is heading. Devices that can be considered partly or fully self-fitting without audiological support were identified in the direct-to-consumer market. None of these devices are considered self-contained as they require access to other hardware such as a proprietary interface, computer, smartphone, or tablet for manipulation. While there is evidence that self-administered fitting processes can provide valid and reliable results, their success relies on user-friendly device designs and interfaces and easy-to-interpret instructions. Until these issues have been sufficiently addressed, optional assistance with the self-fitting process and on-going use of SFHAs is recommended. Affordability and a sustainable delivery system remain additional challenges for the SFHA in developing countries. Future predictions include a growth in self-fitting products, with most future SFHAs consisting of earpieces that connect wirelessly with a smartphone and providers offering assistance through a telehealth infrastructure, and the integration of SFHAs into the traditional hearing health-care model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Hearing
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Amplification
  • Hearing Aid
  • Hearing apps
  • Hearing health care
  • Self-fitting
  • Teleaudiology

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