Tinnitus affects 12 - 17% of the population or 36-50 million Americans according to the American Tinnitus Association. The constant sensation of ringing in the ears is a debilitating condition and 2 to 3 million Americans are disabled by it. Th approximate loss of productivity of this group of patients is $10s of billions. The annual cost of compensation of tinnitus disability in the U.S. veteran population has been estimated at $1.14 billion in 2011. The state-of-the-art in tinnitus management involves the use of customized sound therapy, but so far, it is expensive, requires multiple visits to specialized centers and has limited options. Objective: The approach to this issue during phase I is, first, to design and optimize an easy working and widely accessible tinnitus therapy software to enable a telemedicine solution for customized sound and music therapy, and second, to evaluate the validity and reliability of the mixing protocol, the quality of the customized music therapy output user interface and simplicity and accessibility of the software. Study Design: Three steps of Mind:set technologies Inc. novel customized sound and music therapy for tinnitus will be integrated into independent and cost-effective software. The functions of the software will be evaluated to ensure a high quality, highly customized, sound and music therapy output file for each patient. Relevance: The development of effective tinnitus therapy software would represent a significant achievement both for audiologists and tinnitus patients. The software will integrate all the steps of a customized tinnitus therapy into single independent software that will be cost-effective and will deploy a telemedicine approach for tinnitus management. Such software will benefit both audiologists and tinnitus patients by allowing for remote treatment of tinnitus by audiologists.
This project addresses the public need for an efficient, simple, cost-effective and widely accessible treatment for tinnitus. The commercialized outcome of this product will fill in the current gap in customized sound therapy for tinnitus.