With the emergence of new technology, everything is becoming quicker, more convenient, and closer to home. Turning on and off the television, playing your favorite song, and even controlling the washing machine can now be done by voice activation, but a new independent business in the United Kingdom is charting a path to bringing voice-controlled hearing healthcare into your home in the near future. Thanks to the Lancashire, England based Amplify Hearing, a free voice-controlled hearing test app is now accessible through the Amazon Alexa’s intelligent virtual assistant (IVA), reaching over 100 million supporting devices and a massive audience. Claiming “impressive accuracy” with their new “Hearing Screener” app, Amplify Hearing is excited to provide everyday people the option of an at-home hearing test but advises not to skip your doctor’s appointments just yet.
Utilizing the Alexa IVA, all you have to do is say the word and you can discover what condition your hearing is in. With a spoken command to Alexa, such as “launch hearing screener”, a hearing test can be completed in under 5 minutes, using spoken phrases and frequency tones to determine whether any hearing loss is detected. Granting millions access to an at-home hearing test is unprecedented work by the Amplify Hearing team and can aid in early identification of hearing loss which is critical to treatment. As Christina Porter, an audiology partner with Amplify Hearing, explains “Early identification of changes in hearing and/or ear health, can lead to improved outcomes with hearing technology further down the line. We can also vastly improve relationships, social inclusion, and general well-being when we look after our hearing properly.”
Amplify Hearing’s Hearing Screener app is a remarkable step in the right direction towards quicker, easier, and more accessible hearing health, but the company advises that you keep your doctor’s appointments. The results of the hearing test are not meant to be taken as medical advice or a proper diagnosis. In fact, If the app detects hearing loss, the user is channeled through local medical professionals partnered with Amplify so they can book an appointment with a professional audiologist.
Early identification and treatment are vital when treating hearing loss across all ages. In a 2011 study, Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging concluded that there is a distinct link between hearing loss and dementia in seniors, emphasizing the importance of early detection of hearing loss to help prevent the onset of dementia. In children with hearing loss, the lack of treatment may lead to delayed speech development or language acquisition and complications in academic or social settings. With research in mind, Amplify Hearing understood the importance of access to early detection. Dave Murphy, Managing Director at Amplify Hearing goes on to make that point when discussing Amplify Hearing’s vision for the future, “The Alexa Hearing Screener App encapsulates the forward-thinking at Amplify.”