Crawley, West Sussex, UK — Siemens Hearing Instruments and Frye Electronics have introduced HearLab, a new noninvasive hearing loss screening test that is helping UK audiologists to measure hearing levels in babies, young children, and communication impaired adults. The test can evaluate hearing loss in patients who cannot state if they hear sounds via traditional audiology testing routes.

HearLab uses electrodes that measure Cortical Auditory Evoked Potential (CAEP) electrical activity in the brain when sounds are heard. Capturing the data, HearLab runs tests to diagnose or confirm hearing loss. In addition, it can be used to assist the accurate fitting of hearing instruments.

A key advantage of HearLab is its ability to perform tests without the need to directly communicate with patients. As a result, small children who have not developed language skills and adults who are disabled or unwilling to participate in normal audiometric tests can have their hearing tested accurately.

With automatic waveform detection, HearLab can be used by clinicians with varying experience of CAEP. It reportedly requires minimal training or experience with performing cortical assessments, and offers an alternative solution to examine disabled or difficult to test patients.

HearLab assists with Aided Cortical Assessment (ACA) and Cortical Threshold Estimate (CTE). ACA is used to verify the efficiency of a hearing instrument fitting through three different speech frequencies; low (m), medium (g), and high (t), which are presented to the patient at sound levels ranging from 55 to 75 dB.

These signals last long enough for the clinician to measure whether they have been detected in the cortical area of the patient’s brain.

Tones are presented via insert earphones or sound field speaker, ranging from -10 to 110 dB, or a bone vibrator, ranging from 0 – 70dB. Responses can then be measured to determine whether the patient has heard and recognized the sound with and without a hearing instrument.

SOURCE: Siemens Hearing Instruments

Photo: HearLab from Siemens UK can noninvasively diagnose hearing loss in babies and other non-communicating adults through measuring cortical responses in the brain.