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Business Finland funding for an innovation to revolutionise hearing rehabilitation

A team of researchers at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital have secured Business Finland funding for a project that explores the commercialisation of a hearing rehabilitation innovation. The TrueHear project was granted approximately 480,000 euros from Business Finland’s Research to Business call.

The team seeks to revolutionise hearing rehabilitation and to enable the verification of true hearing ability. The TrueHear project will develop a novel method for optimising hearing rehabilitation, and for independent performance of a hearing test in a realistic acoustic environment. The invention is rooted in multidisciplinary collaboration between the research groups of Professor Aarno Dietz at the Institute of Clinical Medicine, and Professor Pasi Karjalainen at the Department of Technical Physics.

Hearing loss is the most common disability among people over 70. However, only 30 per cent of hearing aid users feel they benefit from their devices: a wrong type of hearing aid may have been chosen or it may be inadequately adjusted, or their hearing may have further deteriorated since the start of rehabilitation and the selection of treatment.

“The benefits of a hearing aid, and its adjustments, should be verified in a realistic noisy acoustic environment both upon receiving the device and regularly thereafter,” Dietz says.

With current healthcare resources and methods, this is not possible. In the solution developed by the researchers, the patient can independently perform a hearing test with their hearing aid on in a realistic acoustic environment. The TrueHear method consists of a self-service point and a digital platform, which are used to build a seamless and personalised hearing rehabilitation process for the patient.

According to the researchers, better hearing rehabilitation can improve the rate at which patients use their hearing aids and reduce healthcare visits as well as the disadvantages caused by hearing loss. 

“For those struggling with their hearing, it enables resuming normal life.”

For further information, please contact:

Professor Aarno Dietz, University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital,