Koronis Biomedical Technologies (KBT) proposes to develop a novel omnidirectional, low power, miniaturized hearing aid telecoil replacement module (TCRM) based on tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) technology. It has been reported that 31.5 million Americans have hearing loss: Hearing loss affects 1 in 10 Americans and 1 in 4 households. Modern telecoils assist the hearing-impaired with telephone handsets as well as increasingly ubiquitous public address systems (hearing loops) by receiving magnetic audio signals using large, expensive wound-coils in the hearing aid. While the received magnetic audio is often superior to audio generated by acoustic microphones, wound-coils are bulky, highly directional, and subject to noise. TMR technology delivers improvements in magnetic sensor size, sensitivity, and noise rejection that represent an opportunity to significantly enhance the performance of hearing aid telecoils. KBT will design, fabricate, and test an optimized TMR sensor, adapting this technology for this use. A TMR-based omnidirectional hearing aid TCRM will be developed, tested, and integrated within a commercially available hearing aid enclosure.
Hearing loss affects 1 in 10 Americans and 1 in 4 households. Hearing aid telecoils are used to receive magnetic audio transmissions from telephones as well as increasingly ubiquitous hearing loops in public and private spaces without the ambient acoustic noise that confounds traditional microphone-based audio amplification. Modern telecoils are large and expensive wound-coils that are highly directional. The development of tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) technology has had a transformative impact on the magnetic recording industry by dramatically increasing storage density using smaller, more sensitive, and more noise resistant magnetic sensors. TMR technology can be applied to replace wound telecoils and improve the hearing aid telecoil experience with omnidirectional reception and smaller form factors.