There’s plenty of evidence that people living with hearing loss are at risk of all kinds of additional social and health deprivations, ranging from isolation from family members and friends, through inability to work, to increased risk of chronic disease and dementia.
In response to this huge need there are plenty of hearing aids available in China and South Asia. So what’s wrong with them?
Based on a Single Tone Language
…like English. Fine if you listen to a single tone language, but not so fine if you listen to multi-tone languages like Mandarin or Cantonese
Not Enough Audiologists
There are only around 1,000 trained audiologists in the whole of China. The US has around 20,000 trained audiologists – but they consider they still have a ‘severe shortage’
Imported Quality Aids are Expensive
They can cost up to US$6,000 (or more). And they still need to be fitted and maintained by those elusive audiologists…
Stigma Associated with Hearing Aids
However discrete a hearing aid may be it can still create stigma that says you’re somehow different – and not in a good way
Who Are We?
We’re an international collaboration financially supported by Innovate UK (Newton Fund) and Guangdong Science and Technology – we’re a startup whose innovation and ambition has been recognised and rewarded by UK and Chinese government funders.
Professor CHEN Fei
A world leading expert in tonal language speech processing from Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen.
Professor CHEN leads on the development and integration of our patented process and speech processing algorithms.
Professor ZHENG Dingchang
An internationally recognised expert in Medical Device innovation and development from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK.
Professor ZHENG leads the development of our innovative hearing device which will be capable of online calibration and communication.
A digital health innovator with over 25 years of experience in developing, selling and supporting digital health solutions to the NHS in England.
Mr Wright leads on the development and deployment of the CLEARHEAR digital platform and its deployment within China.
How Can CLEARHEAR Help?
We’re creating a disruptive and self-contained digital solution that uses a number of innovative approaches to provide a much more effective rehabilitation service for China and South Asia. Affordable, accessible, configurable, relevant, inspiring and reassuring are all words that will describe our customers’ experience (and that of their family and friends)
Support for Multi-Tone Languages
Our team includes a world-recognised expert in developing noise-reduction technology for multi tone languages, Professor CHEN Fei from Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen. Through him we will use patented noise reduction processes with sophisticated and AI-based algorithms that provide a truly personalised service for multi-tone language speakers (and hearers) like you. And this is world-beating Chinese technology!
We’ll get over the lack of audiologists by offering a completely online service, from screening and hearing loss assessment, through purchase of one of our hearing aid devices, to online calibration and service. That means we can reach onto every part of Chinese society, from rich to poor, from urban to rural.
Our device will connect to our cloud service using a WeChat miniprogram on your smartphone and will automatically calibrate your hearing aid to compensate for a range of noisy environments. You can store your own, personal noisy environments (your airport or your restaurant), or use a range of pre-configured environments. Our Big Data storage and advanced AI analysis will continuously upgrade the effectiveness of the noise-reduction algorithms stored in our hearing aid. And best of all? Once calibrated the hearing aid will automatically switch from one environment to another. And you’ll be able to recalibrate your aid on demand instead of having to visit one of those elusive audiologists.
Quality Hearing Aid Device Manufactured in China
Our state-of-the art hearing device is being designed at Anglia Ruskin University under the supervision of Professor ZHENG Dingchang. Professor Zheng is an internationally recognised expert in the development of medical technology, and he is using his UK-based team (enhanced by collaboration from China) to create a best-of-breed device that will be manufactured in China. So the CLEARHEAR device will be innovated and made in China.
Using Behaviour Change Techniques to Overcome Stigma
Our UK-based digital platform developer, THERAPYAUDIT Limited, has expertise in weaving behaviour change techniques into the design and delivery of digital solutions in healthcare, and has been using these for many years in the NHS in England. These techniques can significantly improve the long-term take-up of technology in providing support for chronic diseases, and now these same techniques will be used to help you, your family and friends to think more positively about hearing loss rehabilitation.
Why are we doing this ? – why are we funded by UK and Chinese provincial government?
Because our innovative CLEARHEAR service can have real positive impact for people living with hearing loss in China and South Asia. There’s plenty of evidence that people living with hearing loss are at risk of all kinds of additional social and health deprivations, ranging from isolation from family members and friends, through inability to work, to increased risk of chronic disease and dementia. Why wouldn’t we want to help these people, particularly people in rural areas who cannot access ‘traditional’ hearing services, and probably can’t afford solutions if they can get access to them. Our target market is >90% unmet need in a population of 70-100 million, which is growing fast as populations age and incidence of hearing loss inevitably rises. And it’s not just the ageing process that deteriorates hearing – environmental issues like increased noise and pollution impact younger people as well, both at work and home. We also reckon that our intervention (a suitably calibrated hearing aid device) will be relevant to most of our customers for up to 5 years, which means that while our total market grows over time, it will also ‘churn’ with repeat business.
Join us. We’re well on our way – this is a really exciting ground floor investment opportunity. We’ve already secured our seed funding which is enabling our initial development phase and we’re now actively looking for well motivated investors to join us to enable us to build our local Chinese team that will take our prototype development to market. If you’re interested in joining us on an innovative journey with real growth potential and real USPs contact us and we’ll be delighted to talk to you.
Introduce Online Screening
Start Clinic Trials
Begin Device Manufacture
Launch Full Service
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We’re always happy to talk about our exciting project. Use our contact form to send us a message and one of us will get back to you.