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Teen develops low cost hearing aid

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2016-06-28 11:57

About the solution

The device can be used with any set of headphones, and was created to first test hearing by playing several different sounds at seven different frequencies through the headphones. It then programs itself to be a hearing aid, amplifying volume based on the test results. Each device has an audio file of the sound of hands rubbing together. To calibrate it, a person just has to rub their own hands together and match the volume of the audio file with the volume of their own hands.

After visiting his grandparents, the boy was tasked with helping his grandfather get tested and fitted for a hearing aid. But Mukund realized the process was to expensive and difficult. So he decided to take action.

“Since audiologists are specialists, even finding and getting an appointment with one in India was really hard. We spent about $400 or $500 on doctor’s appointments and about $1,900 on the hearing aid itself”, he observed.

Mukund was 14 years old when he started creating the device, and it took him two years to finish it. He taught himself to code. The production cost about 60 USD. According to the student, the processor which amplifies volume by increasing the volume of an incoming signal, was the most expensive part – about USD 45. Other parts cost about USD 15.

“Unlike with traditional hearing aids, if the ear piece gets damaged it is not costly to replace. You just buy another set of ear buds. In its current form, the device is about two inches and looks like a computer processor”, the inventor explained.

Mukund won first place at the Kentucky State Science and Engineering Fair, and aims to distribute his invention to people with hearing loss who can not afford a USD 1,000 hearing aid. Several foundations are contacting him and trying to help the teenager mass produce and distribute it.

“Keeping my grandfather in my mind was what kept me going”, the boy concluded.

Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2j0xP28

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This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com

About the author

Mukund Venkatakrishnan, was born in India, in 2000, but lives in USA, built a low-cost hearing aid, inspired by his grandfather, who lives in India, and suffers from hearing loss.

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