****UPDATE: Thanks to our donors we met our original goal of $3,000. Now we hope to meet our STRETCH GOAL of $5,000. Thank you in advance for your generosity!****
Current hearing aids on the market have numerous limitations that cause hearing aid users to be dissatisfied. The processes involved in acquiring and maintaining hearing aids can be very tedious for many users. These devices are also expensive, and most importantly, ineffective in noisy environments and lack adaptability. As the older adult population is expected to increase, age-related hearing loss is becoming more of a public health concern.
Team ECHO aims to improve the overall experience for people who use hearing aids. The components of this improvement include amplifying desired sound, reducing the need for adjustment, and increasing the overall ease of hearing aid use. The goal of our research is to expand the self-adjustable aspect of hearing aids to calibrate in various environments according to the surrounding noises. By creating a model with quantifiable measures that can determine which sounds to amplify and focus on, the process of readjusting hearing aids will become more convenient for the user. Through the implementation of our model, we aim to bring the experience of hearing aid users closer to the natural hearing perception that hearing people experience.
The process for accomplishing our goal consists of differentiating surrounding noise versus desired noise, quantifying these variables, and using this data to build a model. We plan to conduct surveys on the factors that go into surrounding and desired hearing. We will then combine this information with previous research and calibrate hearing aid software to build our model. While we may not be able to influence the cost of hearing aids directly, we will be implementing our solution to be compatible with new OTC hearing aids, making our end result more accessible to users. Finally, we will compare our model to hearing aids that are currently on the market. Our desired result would be for the model to operate more effectively than current hearing aids, allowing a quality experience for hearing aid users.
Support Team ECHO to help improve the overall experience for hearing aid users and increase accessibility of hearing aids for the community.
Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents. Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please see your tax advisor for details.
This donation will go towards compensation for our survey and interview participants. Help us gather valuable opinions and insight from people who use hearing aids on factors contributing to hearing difficulties.
Help us develop soundtracks that we will include in our surveys and interviews. This donation will go toward a 2000-4000 Hz microphone and audio track recordings.
In this stage of our research we will build our model by analyzing the efficiency of different sound processing arrangements. Donations will go towards obtaining software development tools for filtering the data we collect.
During this stage of our research we will implement our model and test it against current hearing aids on the market. This donation will go towards open-source hearing aid and hardware improvements.