BIRMINGHAM, UK—For 69 pence (about $1.15), parents in Great Britain can obtain a phone app that can be used with a smartphone or an iPad to help them assess their children’s hearing without taking them to an audiology clinic.
The Early Ears app was developed by British scientists at Aston University in Birmingham, who say that it can offer parents “immediate reassurance” for worries about hearing loss. The app presents a series of eight images and the children must correctly touch the image that responds to the app’s audio instructions–which are broadcast at different volumes.
Robert Morse, PhD, from Aston University’s Health Care Clinics, said, “Our Early Ears app provides parents with a simple, but reliable, resource to test their children’s hearing. For three decades the McCormick toy test has been used by audiologists to identify common causes of hearing loss in kids. This app brings that test into the home, offering parents immediate reassurance or recommendations to seek expert medical advice if they suspect their child may have a hearing problem.”