Several organizations join forces with Google to improve hearing care through machine learning and other hearing technologies

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people living with hearing loss is set to reach 2.5 billion by 2050. Now, technology companies, researchers, and people living with hearing loss are coming together to address its impact.

Together, Cochlear, Australian Hearing Hub members, National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL), Macquarie University, The Shepherd Centre, and NextSense, have agreed to a collaboration with Google to uncover new solutions to help people with hearing loss. The agreement is a multi-year collaboration. Research teams will evaluate new methods, such as machine learning, big data, speech enhancement, cloud computing and neuroscience to improve and develop hearing technologies and strategies.

“For over 75 years, NAL has been a pioneer in hearing technologies that are used around the world. This is an opportunity to combine NAL’s unique innovation program with Google’s capabilities to introduce new hearing products to enhance health and wellbeing,” commented Brent Edwards, PhD, NAL Director.

A cross-section of hearing health experts has also published international cochlear implants guidelines outlining who should be tested and referred for a cochlear implant, which will reportedly allow for more cochlear candidates to receive the care they need. Currently, only three out of every 100 adults in the U.S. who could benefit from a cochlear implant go on to receive one. 

The first project in the collaboration reportedly seeks to personalize hearing models in listening devices. This technology could be particularly beneficial for people using hearing devices in complex listening environments, such as busy restaurants, group conversations, or live music performances.

Simon Carlile, Google Australia’s research lead on the project explained that, “Hearing technology helps people around the world connect with people and their surroundings, but there are many more people who could benefit. As part of Google’s Digital Future Initiative, this exciting collaboration will help us explore new ways to design and improve machine learning models that better fit the needs of the individual listener—and help develop a more precise and accessible approach to hearing care.”

Source: PR Newswire

Images: PR Newswire