LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — Kennedy Woods, a London architecture studio announces Hearing Birdsong, an immersive audio-focused app supported by Design Age Institute, which takes a unique approach to encourage people to get their hearing tested.
Over 12 million adults in the UK have hearing loss, and yet 9 million of these are untreated, living without the benefit of hearing aids.
It’s a growing issue that has a significant impact on on quality of life: creating isolation, incapacity, and vulnerability. And yet the way we diagnose hearing loss has not changed in 50 years.
The prototype developed – and the user-centered approach underpinning it – “shines a light on the potential to humanise other clinical processes, by focusing on the intersection between technology and patient experience”.
Inspired by a patient’s story, Hearing Birdsong unites user-experience and technology to encourage early diagnosis and raise awareness of hearing loss.
Working alongside the Dyson School of Engineering and Imperial College, they developed a working prototype of a “more humane hearing loss screen that uses modulated bird-calls within an ambient soundscape to test certain frequency bands of a traditional test, instead of pure tones and white noise”.
In this soundscape, difficulty in hearing the Wren’s call would indicate some level of hearing loss in the 4-8 kHz range – an important range for distinguishing common daily sounds.
Following a successful grant application to the World Health Organisation, a 3D audio, virtual experience of Hearing Birdsong can now be previewed by playing the video below.
To learn more visit the Kennedy Woods website here.