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Método para preservar las claves espectrales de señales de audio en audífonos

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOIT20161227001
Publicado:
16/01/2017
Caducidad:
16/01/2018
Resumen:
Una empresa italiana ha desarrollado un método para preservar las claves espectrales de una señal de audio alterada por la presencia física de un audífono en el canal auditivo. Este sistema está indicado para los audífonos digitales más comunes, como ITE (intraoculares) y BTE (retroauriculares), y en general, para audífonos que ocupan total o parcialmente el canal auditivo. Este método ha sido patentado. La empresa busca socios con el fin de establecer acuerdos de licencia o fabricación.

Details

Tittle:
Method for preserving the spectral clues of an hearing aid audio signal.
Summary:
An Italian company has invented a method for preserving the spectral clues of an audio signal altered by the physical presence of a hearing aid in the hearing canal. The system is suitable for most common types of digital hearing aid such as in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids and, more generally, for any hearing apparatus entirely or partially occupying the hearing canal. The company is looking for license and/or manufacturing agreement.
Description:
Digital hearing aids consists of a chip that can be programmed with a specific software, residing on a PC and developed by manufacturers, allowing to set and tune the electro-acoustic parameters of the hearing aid itself. The hearing aids, commonly called hearing prostheses, are applied to the patient´s ears (prosthetization) to solve hearing loss problems. However, a significant percentage of patients treated with hearing aids is seamingly not satisfied with the results achieved.
A major problem related to hearing aids is represented by the space occupied by the hearing aid itself in the hearing canal.
The application of a hearing apparatus alters the distribution of sound pressure at the eardrum.
The Italian company has developed an innovative method for applying and tuning hearing aids which permits to overcome most of the above mentioned problems.
According to the proposed method measurements of sound pressure of a free ear and with a hearing aid are performed in order to evaluate the alteration produced and the in situ frequency response of the apparatus itself.
The method briefly consists of the following eight steps:

(A) calculating the REUG (Real Ear Unaided Gain), that is, a comparison between a sound pressure measurement performed with a microphone positioned in the ear near the eardrum and a sound pressure measurement performed with a reference microphone positioned on the face outside the ear;
(B) calculating a magnitude (the so-called ALMIC), i.e., a comparison between a sound pressure measurement at the microphone of the hearing aid inserted in the ear and a sound pressure measurement performed with a reference microphone positioned on the face outside the ear;
(C) calculating one of the two components (PRE) in which, according to the present method, the Insertion Gain (REIG) is split, and designing of the filter for the compensation for such component;
(D) calculating the REAG (Real Ear Aided Gain), i.e., a comparison between a sound pressure measurement performed with a microphone to which a probe tube is connected, which, passing through or externally to the earplug (snail), allows the sound sampling near the eardrum, and a sound pressure measurement performed with a reference microphone positioned on the face outside the ear. In this step, the settings of the hearing instrument are known and do not depend on deafness;
(E) calculating one of the two components (POST) in which, according to the present method, the Insertion Gain (REIG) is split. The sum of the two components is the Insertion Gain (REIG);
(F) designing the compensating filter of the POST component of the Insertion Gain (REIG);
(G) testing and verifying, on the subject wearing the hearing aid, the compensating filter of REIG, and possible refinement procedure to correct the compensation of the Insertion Gain obtained in the previous step;
(H) tuning the hearing aid for deafness taking into account the compensating filter.

The proposed method has been patented and the company is looking for a license agreement.
Advantages and Innovations:
The proposed method permits to finely and efficiently tune hearing aids and preserving the spectral clues of an audio signal.
The method simplify the prosthetization performed by a hearing healthcare professional on patients suffering from hearing loss and hearing deficiencies.
In addition to the above mentioned advantages the first 7 steps of the method (A-G) can be applied in different areas such as headphones (for example, for hearing protection purposes, music listening, alert reports, acoustic monitor).
Stage of Development:
Already on the market
IPs:
Patents granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Manufacturers of hearing aids are sought.
Non exclusive license agreement is preferred while exclusive license agreement will be considered subject to negotiation.
Further documentation will be disclosed subject to signing of a non disclosure agreement.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
Industry SME 50-249
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
No
Languages Spoken:
English
Italian

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
01002004 Embedded Systems and Real Time Systems
06001016 Fisiología
06001021 Productos de un único uso y bienes de consumo
01001002 Sistemas digitales, representación digital
06001013 Tecnología médica / ingeniería biomédica