NIHR | Manchester Biomedical Research Centre
Our Research: Hearing Health

Developing engineering solutions

Can a combination of new engineering solutions and personalised fitting methods help improve hearing device outcomes?

Currently there are issues with both hearing aids often being mismatched to a patient’s residual hearing ability and incorrect placement of prosthetic implantable microphones in the ear canal. This leads to both poor outcomes and a poor experience for the patient.

By developing objective measures of cochlear and auditory neural deficits, we will provide personalised fitting to ensure a better chance of improved hearing.

We are:

  • Completing a PhD study which has investigated the use of hearing aid processing by reference to both cognitive load and speed of auditory processing in complex  listening conditions to personalise hearing aids to improve outcomes. Our results expand existing evidence about the effects of speaker variability in the audio-frequency domain to the impact of variability in the modulation domain on speech perception. In the future an individualised approach to fine-tuning digital signal processing in hearing aids may lead to improved hearing aid outcomes.
  • Working with the National Graphene Institute to design a graphene microphone suitable for implantation in the ear drum. In parallel, we have an MD student developing surgical techniques required for implementation of such a device.
  • Working with industry such as Sonova and Oticon to develop testing and evaluation for new technologies in real world listening environments.
  • We have developed a Hearing Device Research Centre to take forward basic and translational research, often in partnership with our industrial collaborators.