The overall objective is to develop a better, affordable hearing aid. The specific objective of this R24 Developmental Grant application is to prepare a research grant application that will provide the means for pursuing the goal of developing and evaluating this improved hearing aid. In order to prepare a viable grant proposal it is necessary to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed methods. Computer simulation will be used to develop a virtual hearing aid (VHA);i.e., one that exists in the software of a computer plus a hardware interface that is very similar, if not identical, to the input and output hardware of an actual hearing aid. The use of computer simulation will allow for the rapid and convenient development of an experimental VHA. This instrument will be used to explore different approaches to the development of a better, affordable hearing aid. The most promising of these approaches will be the focus of the grant proposal to be prepared.
More than 36 million Americans have a hearing loss. Hearing loss has a substantial negative impact on quality of life, including significant social, psychological, cognitive and general health problems. This project addresses the problems limiting the effectiveness of hearing aids. The overall goal is to develop a better hearing aid to improve the quality of life of people with hearing loss.