Panasonic recently announced development of a latest technology that is applied to fitting hearing aids. During a test, normal sound volume was played into a user’s ears, focusing on EEG (electroencephalogram) brain wave patterns. The latest hearing aids developed by Panasonic enable approximation of the loudest sound level a user can tolerate comfortably. This will help in reducing strain on the users and also the time needed for fitting the hearing aids.
Clinical evaluation regarding this method started with an aim to use it as an automated volume level fitting system used for hearing aids. Panasonic started it with support from Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui. Part of the technology was presented on November 11, 2011, at the 41st Japanese Society of Clinical Neurophysiology’s annual meeting.
Maximum volume that a person can tolerate differs individually and it is a significant factor to be considered while fitting a hearing aid. Conventionally, the minimum level that a user can hear is used to calculate the maximum level he or she can tolerate. For this, the users are subjected to uncomfortable loudness tests, causing them a lot of fatigue and psychological stress. Listening to the test tones repeatedly also leads to confusion for the users. Because of this, adjusting volume parameters of the hearing aids for each user becomes an unstable and difficult process. With the help of the latest Panasonic hearing aids, the maximum level of sound that a user can tolerate depends on the EEG response to normal volume sound and auditory stimuli. The fitting is made within a short period of time comparatively, with higher degree of accuracy.
Panasonic has 8 overseas and 18 domestic patents, apart from some pending applications, on this technology. Based in Japan, Panasonic is one of the leading names in the manufacture and development of electronic products, catering to the industrial, business and individual needs of the consumers.