Starkey Laboratories Inc, Eden Prairie, Minn, has awarded a £200,000 research grant over 3 years to the Audiology and Deafness Research Group at Manchester University through Starkey UK, says the company. The research will explore the benefits of bilateral amplification, or fitting hearing instruments in both ears.
More than 80% of people in the United States are fit bilaterally, but the number is much lower in the UK and Europe, according to the company. Practicing audiologists in greater Manchester will help test the patient benefit of the research, which will look at how bilateral fitting can aid concentration and help people focus on specific sounds, the company says.
Roger Lewin, managing director of Starkey UK, said in a statement released by the company that the research is key to improving the lives of people with hearing impairments. If this research finds that there is a substantial benefit to fitting two hearing instruments as opposed to one, we can use that evidence to help improve the products and advice that we give to our dispensers, and in turn, the quality of hearing for our patients, he said. The research team at Manchester University is really leading the way in auditory research, so it is natural to award this funding to them, he added.
In 2008, Deafness Research UK designated the group as a Centre of Excellence for research that leads to benefit for people with hearing impairment, says the company. The Manchester team is funded by the Department of Health, UK research councils, industrial partners, and charities, and it receives support from manufacturers, the company says.
[Source: Starkey]