For the last several years, hearing loss rates have been on the rise. In fact, audiologists around the globe are worried about an impending crises revolving around hearing loss, thanks to the growing problems of sound pollution in urban environments and the proliferation of personal electronic devices. This latter issue is of particular concern, since the overwhelming majority of devices, including phones, tablets and MP3 players, are capable of emitting sounds loud enough to damage the sensitive structures inside the inner ear.
But even though technology is causing problems when it comes to hearing loss, it's also providing some very helpful solutions. One of the most recent is an app called SonicCloud. Developed by Larry Guterman, a feature film director, and Jody Winzelberg, the former head of the audiology division at Stanford Children’s Health, SonicCloud provides a simple, easy way for hearing loss suffers to have conversations over the phone.
Can You Hear Me?
For most people who have been diagnosed with hearing loss, hearing aids offer much-needed assistance. However, these handy little devices aren't always helpful, especially when it comes to phone calls. When talking over the phone, hearing aids can cause feedback and distortion. Additionally, they can be tricky to use with other electronic devices, such as headsets. Even devices that are specifically meant to help people with hearing loss with phone calls, such as streamers, can sometimes be ineffective. That's what led Guterman and Winzelberg to think that there had to be a better way.
According to the developers, SonicCloud was designed to be much more than a sound-amplifying app. The goal was to help individuals with mild to severe hearing loss experience clear, easy-to-follow conversations over the phone. To that end, the app features a powerful signal processing engine as well as a VoIP calling service that works through the phone. But the true power of this app is in the assessment tool, which specifically calibrates auditory output based on the needs of the user. That means that no matter what type of hearing loss the user has, or how severe it is, SonicCloud should enable them to use the phone more effectively.
Currently the SonicCloud app is available for free on both Apple and Android devices. Also, a desktop version of the product is currently in beta testing and could be made available soon. As far as the future goes, the people behind SonicCloud plan to create more products to improve accessibility for people dealing with hearing loss.
If you or someone you know would like more information about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!