Directions in Future Hearing Aids

We welcome you to join us for this eWEAR Seminar on Tuesday 7/27 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm PDT

Registration: Please click here to register

Speakers:
Jason Qian
3:00 pm to 3:30 pm
“Social Perceptions of Pediatric Hearing Aids”

Achin Bhowmik
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm
“Transforming Hearing Aids into Multifunctional Health and Communication Devices with Embedded Sensors and Artificial Intelligence”

Co-host:
Michael Au

Jason Qian

Resident Physician & Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery, Stanford University

Bio

Jason Qian is a resident physician in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery (Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgery) at Stanford University. His current research interest focuses on pediatric ear and hearing disorders, and his clinical interest is in pediatric ear surgery. Jason completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto and medical school at Columbia University. At Stanford, Jason performed a NIH T32 post-doctoral research fellowship in the lab of Anthony Ricci studying the effects of hearing loss on cognitive function.

Abstract

Objectives: To determine whether hearing aid (HA) use affects social perceptions of general public adults and age-matched peers and if so, determine if effects are modulated by lack of societal representation of pediatric HAs.

Methods: A 10-year-old boy was presented in six photographic conditions with and without HAs and eyeglasses (a worn sensory aid with wider societal representation). HAs were presented in neutral skin tone and bright blue colors. Photographic conditions were embedded into web-based surveys with visual analog scales to capture social perceptions data and sourced to 206 adults (age 18-65) and 202 peers (age 10) with demographic characteristics representative of the general US population. Mean differences in scores for each condition compared to control images were computed using two-tailed t-tests.

Results: In both adult and child respondents, HAs were associated with decreased athleticism, confidence, health, leadership, and popularity. Glasses were associated with decreased athleticism and popularity but increased intelligence, overall success, and in the child respondents, friendliness. When worn in combination, the beneficial effects of glasses were mitigated by brightly colored but not neutrally colored HAs.

Conclusion: Negative effects of pediatric HAs on social perceptions may be influenced by poor societal representation of HAs. These results suggest that greater representation of pediatric HAs is necessary to make society more inclusive for children with hearing loss.

 

Achin Bhowmik

CTO & EVP of Engineering, Starkey, and Adjunct Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine

Bio

Dr. Achin Bhowmik is the Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Engineering at Starkey, a privately-held medical devices company with over 5,000 employees and operations in over 100 countries. Previously, he was the Vice President and General Manager of the Perceptual Computing Group at Intel Corporation. Dr. Bhowmik is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, advising research and lecturing in cognitive neuroscience, sensory augmentation technologies, computational perception, and intelligent systems. He serves on the board of trustees for the National Captioning Institute, board of directors for OpenCV, industry advisory board for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, and board of advisors for the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Bhowmik was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Fellow and President-Elect of the Society for Information Display (SID). He received the Healthcare Heroes award from the Business Journals, Industrial Distinguished Leader award from the Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association, TIME’s Best Inventions and the Artificial Intelligence Breakthrough awards. He has authored over 200 publications, including two books and 39 issued patents.

Abstract

With nearly half a billion people suffering from disabling hearing loss globally, hearing aids are crucially important medical wearable devices. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to increased risks of social isolation, depression, dementia, fall injuries, and other health issues. However, the adoption of hearing aids has been low, in part because of a historical stigma associated with assistive devices and limited functionalities. In this talk, we will present a new class of multifunctional in-ear devices with integrated sensors and machine learning architectures which continuously classify sound and enhance speech, monitor physical and cognitive health, automatically detect and alert falls, stream audio from devices, translate languages, as well as serve as a personal assistant with connectivity to the cloud. Rapid progress in sensors and artificial intelligence is bringing an increasing array of smart devices and applications to the world. Now, these technologies are transforming the traditional hearing aids into multipurpose devices, helping people not only hear better, but also live better lives in many more ways.

 

Michael Au

Senior Manager of R&D, Sonova Group

Bio

Michael Au is a Senior Manager of Research and Development at Sonova Group, one of the major hearing aid manufacturers.  He received his engineering education from the University of California, Berkeley.  With the team, Michael is constantly on the quest to create meaningful improvements to the lives of the hearing impaired – from designing the “invisible” hearing aids to finding practical applications with ear-worn sensors for healthy living.