The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new application (app) for mobile devices to help detect hearing loss amongst those at risk or those already experiencing symptoms.
The hearWHO app is based on validated digits-in-noise technology. Users are asked to concentrate, listen to and enter a series of three numbers into a mobile device when prompted. These numbers have been recorded against varying levels of background sound, simulating listening conditions in everyday life. The app then displays the users' score and its meaning.
“Many people with hearing loss are unaware of it and as such they miss out on educational, professional and everyday-life opportunities," said Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the WHO Department for the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention. "Regular hearing checks ensure that hearing loss is identified and addressed as early as possible."
The app can be used by health providers with a view to facilitate hearing screening in the community or in low-resource settings, as well as by individuals. It can be downloaded free of charge on both iOS and Android devices.