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Sensors 2014, 14(6), 10346-10360; doi:10.3390/s140610346

Smartphone-Based Hearing Screening in Noisy Environments

1 School of Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, University of Ulsan, Ulsan 680-749, Korea 2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul 330-714, Korea
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 5 June 2014 / Accepted: 10 June 2014 / Published: 12 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Sensors and Systems)
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It is important and recommended to detect hearing loss as soon as possible. If it is found early, proper treatment may help improve hearing and reduce the negative consequences of hearing loss. In this study, we developed smartphone-based hearing screening methods that can ubiquitously test hearing. However, environmental noise generally results in the loss of ear sensitivity, which causes a hearing threshold shift (HTS). To overcome this limitation in the hearing screening location, we developed a correction algorithm to reduce the HTS effect. A built-in microphone and headphone were calibrated to provide the standard units of measure. The HTSs in the presence of either white or babble noise were systematically investigated to determine the mean HTS as a function of noise level. When the hearing screening application runs, the smartphone automatically measures the environmental noise and provides the HTS value to correct the hearing threshold. A comparison to pure tone audiometry shows that this hearing screening method in the presence of noise could closely estimate the hearing threshold. We expect that the proposed ubiquitous hearing test method could be used as a simple hearing screening tool and could alert the user if they suffer from hearing loss.
Keywords: smartphone; ubiquitous healthcare; hearing; audiometer; application smartphone; ubiquitous healthcare; hearing; audiometer; application
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Na, Y.; Joo, H.S.; Yang, H.; Kang, S.; Hong, S.H.; Woo, J. Smartphone-Based Hearing Screening in Noisy Environments. Sensors 2014, 14, 10346-10360.

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