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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 296-300

The credibility of a smartphone-based application for use as a hearing screening tool in underserved areas

1 Department of ENT, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Kathirkamam, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Kathirkamam, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Satish Kumar Chokalingam
Department of ENT, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Kathirkamam, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/indianjotol.indianjotol_60_22

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Context: Hearing loss has been rightly regarded as “invisible disability.” Globally, it is the third largest cause for years lived with disability. It is imperative to detect it early to initiate remedial measures. We intended to find a cheaper, quick, and reliable alternative to the traditional audiological services. Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the hearing levels using a self-administered smartphone hearing application and compare these results with pure-tone audiograms performed by an audiologist. Settings and Design: This diagnostic study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital in the State of Puducherry, between 2019 and 2021. Subjects and Methods: One hundred and nineteen participants were recruited; hearing screening was done using the smartphone application “Hearing Test” followed by pure-tone audiometry. Statistical Analysis Used: The results were analyzed for validity and reliability using SPSS software. Results: The mean age was 34.23 ± 9.39 years, and 57.1% had ear complaints at presentation. At the level of statistical significance of P = 0.05, no difference was found between the tests. An absolute difference of <6.712 for each frequency was observed with the average difference being 5.18 dB (95% confidence interval 5.65–4.73) with standard deviation of 3.56. The smartphone application demonstrated a sensitivity of 76.26% and a specificity of 98.99%. Conclusions: We did not find any significant difference between the application and pure-tone thresholds in any frequency. Thus, the Hearing Test application is a valid screening tool to assess hearing loss early.

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