Brainwave patterns for acceptable maximum volume of hearing aids
Panasonic has announced the development of a new technology for fitting hearing aids. Focusing on electroencephalogram (EEG) brain wave patterns recorded when example sounds heard at the normal sound volume are played into the user’s ears during the test, the new technology enables the estimation of the loudest level of sound the user can comfortably tolerate. This development allows the reduction of strain on the users and the time required to fit hearing aids. The company has started clinical evaluation of this method, with an aim to put it into practice as an automatic volume level fitting system for hearing aids in the fiscal year starting April 2015.
The perception of loudness differs from person to person and the acceptable sound volume limit depends on each person. The results of the old method contain a large margin of error without factoring in individual differences; users need to go through an uncomfortable loudness test, which cause them psychological stress and fatigue. Using the new method, the maximum volume level for each user can be estimated objectively based on the EEG response to auditory stimuli, at normal volume, in a short time and with a high degree of accuracy. With this method, the maximum volume of the hearing aid can be set more accurately, making the hearing aid more comfortable to use. This method enables to set the hearing aid more accurately in the maximum volume and use more comfortably.