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Estimulación cerebral para personas con discapacidad auditiva

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TODE20181130001
Publicado:
12/12/2018
Caducidad:
11/12/2019
Resumen:
Una universidad alemana ha desarrollado un método no invasivo de estimulación cerebral para personas con discapacidad auditiva que mejora el reconocimiento de frases habladas. Este método evita la intervención quirúrgica para mejorar notablemente la percepción del habla. El dispositivo se combina con audífonos o implantes cocleares o se utiliza de forma independiente para mejorar la percepción del habla. La percepción del habla humana se identifica en la actividad eléctrica del cerebro como una envolvente de la señal del habla. El nuevo método acopla una señal acústica con una señal eléctrica transcraneal. La universidad busca fabricantes de audífonos interesados en continuar con el desarrollo y establecer acuerdos de cooperación técnica, investigación y licencia.

Details

Tittle:
Brain stimulation for people suffering from hearing impairment
Summary:
A non-invasive method to stimulate the brain of hearing impaired persons to improve the recognition of spoken sentences has been invented by a German university. No surgical intervention is needed to markedly improve speech perception. It can be combined with hearing aids or cochlear implants or used independently for a better speech perception. Hearing instrument manufacturers are sought for further development under technical cooperation or research agreement aiming at a license agreement.
Description:
Hearing-aid users and hearing-impaired people often have a problem distinguishing spoken language from background noises. The invention by the North German university provides a noninvasive method to stimulate the brain of hard-hearing persons to improve their recognition of spoken sentences embedded in background noise. Human speech perception can be identified in the electric activity of the brain as an envelope of the speech signal. Speech perception can be markedly improved if the brain areas responsible for processing the speech signals are electrically stimulated by an envelope (curve) that corresponds to the speech signal.

This new method couples an acoustic signal with a transcranial electric signal. To this end, the sound signal is first recorded and then a corresponding digital envelope curve is calculated. In a parallel process, the latency between an arriving signal and the electric activity of the auditory cortex is determined in an electroencephalogram (EEG). This makes it possible to shift the digital envelope by the determined latency. Next, the envelope is transformed into a constant current signal which is used to stimulate the auditory cortex by skin electrodes. This invention has only been tested so far on healthy people. It is planned to build a prototype in the scope of a BMBF project (German national funding) by 2020. In the long term, the electrodes and the data-processing technology are to be further developed and miniaturized to an extent that will allow them to be combined with hearing aids already available on the market. Therefore, the client is looking for hearing instrument manufacturers for further development under technical cooperation or research agreement to reach marketability. Cooperation under a subsequent license agreement is possible.
Advantages and Innovations:
Previous approaches aiming at improving speech perception required an implant to stimulate the auditory nerve in the inner ear. This invention does not need any surgical intervention anymore to markedly improve speech perception. It can be applied either as a supplement combined with hearing aids or cochlear implants, or independently to achieve a better speech perception.
The new method couples an acoustic signal with a transcranial electric signal. To this end, the sound signal is first recorded and then a corresponding digital envelope curve is calculated. In a parallel process, the latency between an arriving signal and the electric activity of the auditory cortex is determined in an electroencephalogram (EEG). This makes it possible to shift the digital envelope by the determined latency. Next, the envelope is transformed into a constant current signal which is used to stimulate the auditory cortex by skin electrodes.
Stage of Development:
Under development/lab tested
IPs:
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted,Patents granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
DE 10 2016 221 478 granted
WO 2018/082839 A1 registered

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Companies with vast experiences in the hearing aid sector, producers of hearing aids and cochlea-implants.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
University
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Si
Languages Spoken:
English
German

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
06001014 Neurología, investigación cerebral
06001021 Productos de un único uso y bienes de consumo
06001013 Tecnología médica / ingeniería biomédica