Collaborative partnerships are part of our culture. Unitron recently partnered with Canadian researcher Dr. Gurjit Singh to explore a revolutionary way to use wireless technologies to program hearing instruments to make them more accessible for remote locations in Canada.
Dr. Singh is a post-doctoral fellow from the University of Toronto with degrees in Audiology and Psychology. His participation in a research placement with Unitron is made possible by a new Government of Canada investment in Mitacs Inc.
Currently, we are engaged in a five-year collaboration with the University of Western Ontario’s (UWO) National Centre for Audiology, creator of the Desired Sensation Level (DSL) fitting formula and a pre-eminent centre of excellence in the field of hearing healthcare.
UWO recently launched an initiative to create a centre of excellence for hearing science The center is based on a dozen long-term studies, as well as new facilities and capabilities over a five-year period. Seven industry partners were invited to participate, including Unitron as the only hearing-instrument company. We have committed funding and time for the next five years and created a strong bond with UWO as a research partner.
Another recent UWO study looked at how speech perception is affected by hearing instruments with speech enhancement and noise cancellation combined, and compares it with results achieved with hearing instruments with just directional processing and SmartFocus.
A series of studies at Carl Von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg demonstrated that Unitron’s AntiShock effectively addresses speech, transients, and speech-plus-transients, as well as conducting blind testing to confirm user preference for hearing instruments with AntiShock.
The University of Rochester and Louisiana Tech University independently conducted a study involving 22 participants at each site. The study clearly demonstrated that hearing instrument wearers fitted with Unitron’s SmartFocus speech technology performed significantly better in speech-in-noise than those wearing the same hearing instruments without SmartFocus enabled. These results were proven at the University of Rochester and then replicated at Louisiana Tech University, resulting in a combined SNR improvement of 16 percent (1.8 dB).
A second study of speech understanding was run by the University of Iowa, which gave 24 participants the opportunity to choose between two hearing instruments: one fully automatic, the other with Unitron’s SmartFocus technology enabled. Over 90 percent of participants chose the hearing instrument with SmartFocus, citing better clarity, comfort in noise, and flexibility and control.