Taipei Veterans General Hospital develops hearing aid app to boost hearing rehab

The app is easily accessible and promises 10 to 15 percent hearing improvement

An old lady shows no difficulty in using the hearing aid app (Photo by Taipei Veterans General Hospital)

An old lady shows no difficulty in using the hearing aid app (Photo by Taipei Veterans General Hospital)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taipei Veterans General Hospital has developed a mobile application to help improve hearing for people with hearing impairments, the hospital announced in a press conference on July 2.

Complaints have been made about costly hearing aids which fail to deliver desired effects, reported Central News Agency, and this is when aural rehabilitation is required. With the app, patients can self-administer audio training at home without the need to visit medical institutions for rehab sessions, the hospital claimed.

The app, incorporating vocabularies and sentences often used in daily life conversations, allows users to train their lip-reading abilities. Patients can adjust background noise to various degrees as part of the listening exercises. According to research by the hospital crew, those who have used the platform have reported improved hearing ability by 10 percent to 15 percent, CNA reported.

Dr. Huang Chi-yuan (黃啟原) from Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery of Taipei Veterans General Hospital pointed out that the senior population in Taiwan aged 65 or older has exceeded 3 million, and as many as 30 percent of the demographic now suffer from hearing loss.

Through a comprehensive aural rehabilitation comprising sound auditory evaluation and customized treatment plans, plus the assistance of the app, the elderly will be able to regain confidence from enhanced hearing and communication abilities, which is key to preventing distress and the onset of cognitive loss, Huang believes.

In addition to seniors, children diagnosed with hearing impairments are also encouraged to utilize the app for early intervention.

The app will be made available in the near future, the hospital said.