Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


UC project aims to help half a million Kiwis

UC project aims to help half a million Kiwis with hearing problems

A major University of Canterbury (UC) research project aims to help many of the 500,000 New Zealanders who are deaf and have hearing problems.

UC researcher Dr Donald Derrick said his research team intend to use their research to improve speech perception through audio devices.

``This would include hearing aids, smart phones, headphones and emergency radios. As a result, our research will help everyone hear what comes through audio devices more accurately, including those with hearing problems.

The National Foundation for the Deaf has said by 2050 one in four New Zealanders will suffer from hearing loss, compared with one in six in 2005.

The foundation has estimated that hearing loss is costing the country $2.83 billion, or 1.4 per cent of GDP. A significant amount of hearing loss, 37 per cent, is due to excessive noise exposure which is preventable.

Dr Derrick said exposure to excessive noise damages hearing, and hearing worsens with age. Both these factors help explain the upward trend of per-capita hearing loss.

``Hearing aids can cost up to $10,000 and without government support they are likely to be outside the reach of many New Zealanders.

``Not just smartphones but all manner of modern communication through computers are helping the New Zealand deaf community. The prevalence of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, instant messaging and texting have made it easier than ever for the hard of hearing to communicate.

``Nevertheless, audio communications remain difficult for many people and it is our intention to improve audio devices for everyone.

``One advantage of our research is that we could improve audio devices without any intervention or learning on behalf of the users. This reduces the barriers to all users, especially the elderly.’’

UC’s New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour research team, headed by Dr Derrick, has been given more than $550,000 of government funding to work on the project which could be the first invention of its kind in the world when completed.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reserve Bank: Wheeler Keeps OCR At 1.75%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate unchanged at 1.75 percent, as expected, and reiterated his view that the benchmark rate doesn't need shifting for the foreseeable future. More>>

ALSO:

Retail: Pumpkin Patch Brand, IP Sold To Catch Group

The receivers of failed children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch have confirmed that the company's brand and intellectual property have been sold to Australian online retailer Catch Group. More>>

ALSO:

Oil: 2017 Block Offer Petroleum Tender Launched

New Zealand is well-placed to take advantage of the economic benefits of oil and gas exploration, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins announced today at the launch of the 2017 Block Offer petroleum tender. More>>

ALSO:

OECD And Zero Carbon Reports: Environmental Pressures Rising In New Zealand

New Zealanders enjoy a high environmental quality of life and access to pristine wilderness. However, New Zealand’s growth model, based largely on exploiting natural resources, is starting to show its environmental limits with increasing greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution ... More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Record Net Annual Migration Levels Continue

In the February 2017 year, 71,300 more migrants arrived in New Zealand than left, Stats NZ said today. This equalled the previous annual record set in January 2017. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news