What are the objects of implantation training

Listening training at home

Bochum, February 18, 2020.Around 70 people came together in the lecture hall center of the Catholic Clinic in Bochum to present the prototype at the final event of the 'Train2hear' research project on February 14, 2020.

Since the project started in March 2017 under the consortium leadership of Prof. Dr. Kerstin Bilda, Vice-President for Research at the University of Health (hsg Bochum), a teletherapeutic hearing training for people with incipient hearing loss and for cochlear implant (CI) wearers receiving one-sided care was developed and researched. This listening training is adaptive, which means that the degree of severity of the tasks automatically adapts to the performance of the trainee.
Kerstin Bilda carried out the project in cooperation with the Catholic Clinic Bochum (St. Elisabeth Hospital), the Ruhr University Bochum, Q2Web GmbH and Kampmann Hörsysteme GmbH. It will be funded through the lead market competition LifeSciences.NRW (focus on medical technology) of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with around 1.2 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) until the end of February 2020.

For Kerstin Bilda, the first question was what people who have a cochlear implant (CI) actually want. A survey of 87 people showed that 88 percent of those questioned were interested in hearing training at home, Bilda reported. In particular, real, everyday situations should be practiced. A noisy environment is perceived by those affected as particularly problematic.

Course of the hearing training

"A hearing training should be therapist-led, user-oriented, individualized and evaluated and take into account the principles of hearing and speech therapy as well as common learning theories," said Prof. Dr. Christiane Völter from the Hearing Competence Center of the Catholic Clinic in Bochum Basic modules for such programs

Völter: “Based on our experience to date, we can certainly imagine that computer-based hearing training can complement or even partially replace face-to-face therapy in a specialized center for some of the patients. This should always be introduced in a personal setting on site. Furthermore, the user should have the opportunity to keep in close contact with the therapist (for example via a video conference) and the therapist should be regularly informed about the progress of the therapy of the individual patient. "

"We have to establish quality criteria for these training courses," warned Kerstin Bilda.

How the CI wearers experienced the Train2hear hearing training, they were able to report at the event after the scientific lectures. In the descriptions of the users of the teletherapeutic hearing training, it became clear how helpful the adaptive part of the program was in order to avoid under- and overstrain or boredom. “I got more and more content. That worked very well. I'm excited about Train2hear, ”said one patient.
The Train2Hear program was developed as a journey from Berlin via Vienna, Paris, London back to Berlin. Users have tasks to perform at each location.

“An environment like in a café with the clatter of dishes is particularly difficult for me,” reported a user who was able to practice precisely this situation in the hearing training. "I was able to train exercises with high background noise at home and then do this 1 to 1 in everyday life," reported another participant, who considered regular training to be particularly important in order to be able to hear better with CI: "It's like physical training - you have to stay in training! ”Another patient emphasized in her report the advantage of the flexibility in time and space of home teletherapy.

The company Q2Web GmbH, which had taken care of the development of the software solution as a project partner, gave an outlook on the future of teletherapy. Artificial intelligence developments would also enrich teletherapy, for example by providing additional audio material. As part of the listening training, audio materials no longer have to be spoken by people, but can be converted acoustically by computer programs.

The home training prototype presented by the research team is not yet available for purchase.

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