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Ear Hear. 2016 Jan-Feb;37(1):e11-7. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000223.

Clinical Validity of hearScreen™ Smartphone Hearing Screening for School Children.

Author information

1Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; 2Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia; 3Ear Sciences Centre, School of Surgery, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia; 4Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and 5George S. Osborne College of Audiology, Salus University, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, USA.



The study aimed to determine the validity of a smartphone hearing screening technology (hearScreen™) compared with conventional screening audiometry in terms of (1) sensitivity and specificity, (2) referral rate, and (3) test time.


One thousand and seventy school-age children in grades 1 to 3 (8 ± 1.1 average years) were recruited from five public schools. Children were screened twice, once using conventional audiometry and once with the smartphone hearing screening. Screening was conducted in a counterbalanced sequence, alternating initial screen between conventional or smartphone hearing screening.


No statistically significant difference in performance between techniques was noted, with smartphone screening demonstrating equivalent sensitivity (75.0%) and specificity (98.5%) to conventional screening audiometry. While referral rates were lower with the smartphone screening (3.2 vs. 4.6%), it was not significantly different (p > 0.05). Smartphone screening (hearScreen™) was 12.3% faster than conventional screening.


Smartphone hearing screening using the hearScreen™ application is accurate and time efficient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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