Fondation Pierre Fabre

Affordable access to hearing care using connected mHealth solutions that anyone can use, anywhere

Main beneficiary countries:
South Africa - Tanzania - Ethiopia - Botswana - Lesotho - Zambia - Guatemala - Malawi - Uganda

About the sponsor

hearX Group PTY LTD

hearX Group PTY LTD the holdings company has three subsidiary companies namely: hearScreen PTY LTD (Software Sales), mHealth Studio (Hardware Sales) and hearX Asia (ASEAN Sales). There are 9 individual shareholders in hearX Group PTY LTD.

Sector: Industrial: Startups, enterprises, etc.

Country of origin: South Africa

The organisation has:

11
Full-Time Equivalents
11
Employees
4
Volunteers
6
Service providers

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Mother and child health
  • Primary healthcare
  • Chronic diseases
  • Hearing health care

Stage of development:

  • Pilot project/testing/trials

Area where initiative is utilised

  • International (in several countries)

Initiative start date

  • 06/10/2015

Financing

Financing method

  • Public (grant/subsidies, call for proposals/call for tender, etc.)
  • Private (private investors, crowdfunding, philanthropy, etc.)
  • NGO
  • Intergovernmental or international agency

Economic model(s)

  • Revenue generated by the beneficiaries/healthcare facilities

About the initiative

Hearing loss is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease (GBD) with 1 in 7 persons affected (GBD, 2016). The recent GBD report estimated that almost one billion people (940 million) suffered from hearing loss in 2015 (GBD, 2016). This makes it the 2nd most common impairment ahead of visual impairment as measured on the years lived with disability (YLD) index.

Timely provision of medical and audiological interventions has the potential to significantly reduce this burden. The first point of entry for providing appropriate interventions however, require early detection options that are accurate, efficient and widely accessible. hearScreen provides an entirely new solution for traditional barriers to the detection of disabling hearing loss by using low cost, commercially available hardware (a smartphone and headphone) together with a custom developed software application. Besides cutting costs by more than 80% compared to traditional devices the innovation significantly improves and alters current models of school and community-based prevention for hearing loss by allowing non-specialist personnel to conduct screening in resource constrained environments. Quality control features such as environmental noise monitoring, automated testing and interpretation along with cloud-based data management and surveillance differentiate it entirely from current options. Location-based data also enable direct communication with patients (or their caregivers) by text message or email linking them to their closest hearing health providers.

hearScreen is a patented smartphone application that provides a mobile health solution for early detection of hearing loss and linkage of patients to required health services. hearScreen provides an entirely new solution for traditional barriers to the detection of disabling hearing loss by using low cost, commercially available hardware (a smartphone and headphone) together with a custom developed software application. It provides the first smartphone-based hearing test that allows acoustic calibration of test stimuli according to prescribed national and international standards (ISO, SANS etc). It incorporates novel functionalities unavailable in current devices, with integration of real-time environmental monitoring during testing to ensure compliant noise levels, onsite data capturing and sharing capabilities through cellular networks that allow for centralized surveillance and monitoring from a hearScreen cloud-based service. A referral database for hearing health care providers are linked to patients detected with hearing problems through location-based providers linked by text message or email.

Fields of application:

Telemedicine (remote diagnosis and consultations) - Patient monitoring and medical data

Target audience

  • Entire population
  • Dependents/persons with disabilities
  • Children - adolescents (ages 6-18)
  • Young children (0-5 years)

Initiative objectives

  • Decreased morbidity
  • Reduced suffering
  • Improved treatment

Key figures

42000 Number of beneficiaries since launch

2500 Number of users per Month

Materials used

  • Smartphone
  • Connected objects

Technologies used

  • Mobile telecommunications (without data connection)
  • Internet
  • Geolocation
  • Mobile app (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, HTML5, etc.)

Offline use

Yes

Open Source

No

Open Data

No

Independent evaluation

Yes
evaluated independently

Partners

RTI read

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Peek Vision

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Vodacom

Industrial: Startups, enterprises, etc.

Partners in Health

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Partners

Collaborators

startupBrics