Remote Audiology Project
This project is intended to leverage UCL's excellence in basic auditory science to help relieve pressure on the NHS during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the availability of face-to-face audiology appointments, heightened risks of travel to appointments, and lengthened waiting lists for audiology referrals. Remote audiology services could help to resolve these problems, by enabling clinicians to obtain preliminary online assessments of patients' needs so that in-clinic appointments can be used more effectively. However, tools for remote audiological assessment must be validated by direct comparison with results of standard in-person tests.
Our overall goal is to develop online tools to help audiology clinics assess referred patients most efficiently. Our specific aims are to validate online versions of a screening questionnaire, air-conduction pure-tone audiometry test, and speech perception test, so that remotely obtained data from these tests can be used to make clinic visits more streamlined for both patients and NHS staff. To validate the online approach, we are recruiting people with hearing impairment for a pilot study. All participants will be given the entirely remote online versions of the tests first, then invited to take the same tests in person at the UCL Ear Institute, London, WC1X 8EE. Results of online and in-person tests in the same participants will be compared to evaluate the reliability of the remote audiology tools for effective audiological screening.
We are currently recruiting participants who live in or near the Greater London area for data collection in 2023. If you are 18 or older and have a diagnosed or suspected hearing loss or impairment, please consider contacting us to take part. You must be a native English speaker with no diagnosed neurological conditions, psychiatric disorders or developmental disabilities. To take part, you will also need access to: a smartphone with a good internet connection; a desktop or laptop computer with good internet connection and headphones; and a quiet setting where you can complete the tasks with no external distractions. Please note that since in-person testing will take place at the UCL Ear Institute, 332 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8EE, this study is most suitable for people living in or near the Greater London area.
If you're interested in participating and meet the requirements, please let us know via this link and one of our researchers will contact you.
The Remote Audiology Project is sponsored by the NIHR-UCLH BRC Hearing Health Theme (Leads: Professor Anne Schilder and Dr Nishchay Mehta) and involves multiple UCL and UCLH staff and students. Current and past members of the Remote Audiology Project team are listed below, with years of involvement in the project.
- Jennifer F. Linden, Professor, UCL Ear Institute (2020-present)
- Hannah Cooper, Lecturer, UCL Ear Institute (2021-present)
- Dawn Clare-Paule, Service Manager, UCLH Adult Diagnostic Audiology Clinic (2020-present)
- Jack Constable, Clinical Audiologist, UCLH Adult Diagnostic Audiology Clinic (2021-2022)
- Stuart Rosen, Professor, UCL Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences (2021-present)
- Maria Chait, Professor, UCL Ear Institute (2021-present)
- Charis (Hin Ching) Wong, MSc student, UCL Ear Institute (2022-present)
- Bethan Probert, MSc student, UCL Ear Institute (2021-present)
- Irene Wong, MSc student, UCL Ear Institute (2021-2022)
- Fadumo Farah, MSc student, UCL Ear Institute (2021-2022)
- Gordon Mills, Acoustics and Electronics Engineer, UCL Ear Institute (2020-2021)
- Nicola Ridgway, Translational Research Manager, NIHR-UCLH BRC Deafness and Hearing Problems Theme (2020-2021)
- Tiffany Wade, Patient and Public Involvement Coordinatory, NIHR-UCLH BRC Deafness and Hearing Problems Theme (2021)
- Samindi Kurupuarachchilage, MSc student, UCL Ear Institute (2020-2021)