Niels H. Pontoppidan1, Jeppe H. Christensen1, Raul Sanchez-Lopez2,7, Athanasios Bibas3, Louisa Murdin4, Apostolos Economou5, Doris-Eva Bamiou6
1Eriksholm Research Centre, Oticon A/S, Snekkersten, Denmark
2Interacoustics Research Unit, Interacoustics A/S, Lyngby, Denmark
3University of Athens, Athens, Greece
4Guys and St. Thomas NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom
5Athens Medical Group, Athens, Greece
6University College London, London, United Kingdom
7Hearing Systems Section, Dept. Health Technology, Technical Univerity of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby
Data logging from recent hearing instruments enables deeper analysis the usage from detailed information about time, scenes, and hearing loss. This study examines logging data from 5000 days and 200 participants, where the daily sound environment is characterized the average sound pressure level (SPL), the average signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and the
duration of usage logged that day. The participants’ hearing deficits are described by their audiograms, which were clustered into four audiometric groups (a-d) based on the aggregate low-frequency (HTLF) and high-frequency (HTHF) hearing thresholds as a simple approximation of the auditory profiles of the BEAR project. This analysis aims to explore the impact of the sound environment and people’s hearing deficits on the hearing-aid usage to better understand the situations in real life where hearing instruments are being used. This analysis employs linear mixed-effects model with random effects for degree of hearing loss, the average daily usage per subject, and fixed effects for average SPL and SNR. The main analysis shows that individuals with high degree of both HTLF HTHF thresholds (group-c) use their hearing instruments less than the average, while the groups where only a high degree of either HTLF (group-d) or HTHF (group-b) use their hearing instruments more than the average. On the side, the analysis also indicates that a louder daily sound environment leads to longer daily usage and large spread in individual usage. Finally, the analysis
confirms prior findings, as the results indicate that previous experience using hearing instruments also leads to longer duration of use. The outcomes of this analysis provide a more detailed understanding of use of hearing instruments showing how the usage for hearing instruments is influenced by type of hearing loss, previous use of hearing instruments and the daily sound environments.
Acknowledgements: This work received funding from Innovation Foundation Denmark through BEAR project and from European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement 727521.