Bionics Institute

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Pictured: An infant using the EarGenie protoype.

Project title: EarGenie: personalised management of hearing impairment for infants 

BMTH Round: One

EarGenie is an innovative system for personalised management of hearing impairment aiming to enable life-long benefits, using a novel combination of electrophysiology and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to perform a diagnostic hearing evaluation. 

Deaf infants face delayed and inadequate language development, affecting education, social participation, and even employment later in life. Major contributing factors are the delay between diagnosis and the selection and accurate adjustment of hearing devices, delayed individualised optimisation of device features, and difficulty choosing a specific therapy to optimise language development. EarGenie is set to transform the precision of diagnosis and optimisation of hearing instrument function, to deliver major benefit to language development in deaf children. This project will allow for the development of a clinical prototype as well as plans for regulatory approval and clinical trials.

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Case Study:

Consortium LeadBionics Institute
Consortium PartnersHydrix, Taralye Early Intervention Centre, Plunkett Consulting Group, Australian Hearing

MTPConnect grant: $966,500

Industry contribution: $2,935,387

DurationMay 2018 - July 2021 (Completed)
OutcomesBionics Institute has finished the Speech Module of the EarGenie. This system objectively assesses whether an infant can hear speech and also whether an infant can discriminate between two different speech sounds.
ContactProfessor Colette McKay, Leader of Translational Hearing Research