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

 

Oil: 2014 New Zealand Petroleum Summit

Simon Bridges: Our abundance of energy and minerals resources provides us with unique opportunities to build the New Zealand economy.

Over the past three years the Government has made significant changes to how the sector is regulated. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Catches Breath After "Goldilocks" Slump

The New Zealand dollar edged up following its dramatic slump yesterday after the Reserve Bank confirmed speculation it intervened in the currency market last month and PM John Key suggested a “Goldilocks” level far lower than at present. More>>

ALSO:

Biosecurity: Kiwifruit Claim To Hold Officials Accountable For Psa

Kiwifruit growers have joined forces to hold Biosecurity NZ accountable in the courts for its negligence in allowing 2010’s Psa outbreak that devastated New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and exports. Foundation claimants representing well ... More>>

ALSO:

Poison: Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

With the fishing season opening in just a few days (1 October 2014), anglers are being warned by the Department of Conservation(DOC) not to eat trout from pristine backcountry waters and their downstream catchments, where the department is conducting 1080 poisoning operations. More>>.

ALSO:

Quotas: MPI Swoop On Suspected Fraudulent Fishing Activity

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) compliance officers swooped on a Hawkes Bay fishing enterprise today to secure evidence in an investigation into suspected fraudulent activity... “The investigation involves activity throughout the commercial supply chain – catching, landing, processing and exporting.” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fonterra Slashes 2015 Milk Payout, Earnings Tumble 76%

Fonterra Cooperative Group cut its forecast 2015 milk price payout by about 12 percent, citing weaker global dairy prices and said there is a risk of further declines given strong global milk production. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news