Hearing impairment is a frequent human sensory impairment. It was estimated that over 50% of those aged >75 years experience hearing impairment in the United States. Several hearing impairment–related factors are detectable through screening; thus, further deterioration can be avoided. Early identification of hearing impairment is the key to effective management. However, hearing screening resources are scarce or inaccessible, underlining the importance of developing user-friendly mobile health care systems for universal hearing screening. Mobile health (mHealth) applications (apps) act as platforms for personalized hearing screening to evaluate an individual’s risk of developing hearing impairment. We aimed to evaluate and compare the accuracy of smartphone-based air conduction and bone conduction audiometry self-tests with that of standard air conduction and bone conduction pure-tone audiometry tests. Moreover, we evaluated the use of smartphone-based air conduction and bone conduction audiometry self-tests in conductive hearing loss diagnosis. We recruited 103 patients (206 ears) from an otology clinic. All patients were aged ≥20 years. Patients who were diagnosed with active otorrhea was excluded. Moderate hearing impairment was defined as hearing loss with mean hearing thresholds >40 dB. All patients underwent four hearing tests performed by a board-certified audiologist: a smartphone-based air conduction audiometry self-test, smartphone-based bone conduction audiometry self-test, standard air-conduction pure-tone audiometry, and standard bone conduction pure-tone audiometry. We compared and analyzed the results of the smartphone-based air conduction and bone conduction audiometry self-tests with those of the standard air conduction and bone conduction pure-tone audiometry tests. The sensitivity of the smartphone-based air conduction audiometry self-test was 0.80 (95% confidence interval CI = 0.71–0.88) and its specificity was 0.84 (95% CI = 0.76–0.90), respectively. The sensitivity of the smartphone-based bone conduction audiometry self-test was 0.64 (95% CI = 0.53–0.75) and its specificity was 0.71 (95% CI = 0.62–0.78). Among all the ears, 24 were diagnosed with conductive hearing loss. The smartphone-based audiometry self-tests correctly diagnosed conductive hearing loss in 17 of those ears. The personalized smartphone-based audiometry self-tests correctly diagnosed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)