Early detection of hearing loss is crucial for its effective rehabilitation. In order to ensure that hearing loss is noticed as early as possible, all people should check their hearing from time to time, especially those who are at a higher risk of hearing loss. They include people who often listen to loud music, work in noisy places, use medicines that are harmful to hearing, or who are above 60 years old. In order to facilitate hearing checks, WHO has developed a mobile and web-based software application for hearing screening.
The hearWHO app is based on validated digits-in-noise technology. This app gives the general public access to a hearing screener to check their hearing status and monitor it over time. The easy to use app clearly display the users’ results and keeps a personalized track record of their hearing status over time.
The app is especially recommended for those who commonly listen to loud music over personal audio devices. It can also be used by health workers to screen people in the community for hearing loss and refer them for diagnostic testing if they fail the screening.
The app is presently available in English only. Language versions will be made available in late 2019. WHO has been guided by an advisory group consisting of Dr Jackie Clark, Dr Deborah Ferrari, Dr Cas Smits and Dr De Wet Swanepoel in the development of this app.