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.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news