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Sohum

Description

A Novel Device To Screeen Newborns For Hearing Loss In Resource Poor Settings To Provide Timely Intervention And Prevent Speech Loss

Need Background

Annually 800,000 babies are born with HI with 90% in developing countries & 100,000 babies with hearing loss are born in India. Pre-lingual hearing impairment impacts speech, cognitive development & further chances of education & employment. Intervention in the 1st year of life has significantly improved outcomes. In most advanced healthcare systems, universal screening is mandatory at birth. In resource-constrained settings, such as India, hearing impairment goes undiagnosed until the child is about 4 years old. By then, it is too late for the care cycle to be effective. This leads to irreversible speech loss, impaired communication skills, delayed cognitive development, possible mental illness, and unemployment.


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 60 percent of hearing loss in children under 15 years of age is preventable with early screening and intervention. Currently, newborn hearing screening is a challenge. In resource-poor settings like India, there are many constraints like too much noise in the clinical settings to conduct hearing screening, lack of skilled healthcare providers, fragmented aftercare & high cost of aftercare which restrict imported technologies to perform in resource-poor settings.

Technology

Sohum is a non-invasive, safe medical device and a telemedicine-enabled system solution to do mass screening of newborns for hearing loss and provide a complete care cycle from screening to rehabilitation. Our technology is built on the gold-standard BERA (Brainstem evoked response audiometry) platform with high sensitivity & specificity. Sohum is made to perform in a noisy environment and doesn’t need a noise-proof room, it is easy to use by any healthcare worker and gives automated results as PASS or REFER. Sohum is telemedicine enabled so that timely further intervention (hearing aid, cochlear implant & rehabilitation) can be provided to babies identified with hearing loss.

Salient Features

Features and value proposition of the Sohum device:

Quick & Safe: Sohum’s hearing test is a quick, non-invasive procedure that captures a baby’s response to sound stimulus in just 90 seconds in each ear which makes it ideal for mass screening. The algorithm is built with artefact rejection which allows for hearing screening in noisy clinical environments

  • Less training & ease of use: A field personnel with a minimum of secondary school education can operate the device with one day of training. The device is designed such that it requires minimum inputs and provides automated results as ‘PASS’ or ‘REFER’. The data is sent to the centralized server on low bandwidth data for further evaluation.
  • Telemedicine Platform: Every Sohum device is internet-enabled and is capable of sending the data to the server. The data is further analyzed with advanced algorithms & centralized audiology team for accuracy and the babies who are referred are connected to ENT and audiology team for further intervention. Sohum is creating the best annotated database of audiology data for creating future technologies and artificial intelligence-based algorithms.
  • Affordability & accessibility: Sohum device has an innovative combination business model for smaller clinics able to lease the device/revenue sharing every test and bigger hospitals able to purchase the device

Implementation

Indian States: Punjab, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka.
Global: Uganda, Tanzania, Bhutan, Guatemala

Category:

Description

A novel device to screeen newborns for hearing loss in resource poor settings to provide timely intervention and prevent speech loss

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