Title

Automated Smartphone Audiometry: A Preliminary Validation of a Bone-Conduction Threshold Test App

Department

Audiology

Abstract

Objective: To develop and validate an automated smartphone app that determines bone-conduction pure-tone thresholds. Methods: A novel app, called EarBone, was developed as an automated test to determine best-cochlea pure-tone bone-conduction thresholds using a smartphone driving a professional-grade bone oscillator. Adult, English-speaking patients who were undergoing audiometric assessment by audiologists at an academic health system as part of their prescribed care were invited to use the EarBone app. Best-ear bone-conduction thresholds determined by the app and the gold standard audiologist were compared. Results: Forty subjects with varied hearing thresholds were tested. Sixty-one percent of app-determined thresholds were within 5 dB of audiologist-determined thresholds, and 79% were within 10 dB. Nearly all subjects required assistance with placing the bone oscillator on their mastoid. Conclusion: Best-cochlea bone-conduction thresholds determined by the EarBone automated smartphone audiometry app approximate those determined by an audiologist. This serves as a proof of concept for automated smartphone-based bone-conduction threshold testing. Further improvements, such as the addition of contralateral ear masking, are needed to make the app clinically useful.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2019

Publication Title

Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology

ISSN

0003-4894

Volume

128

Issue

6

DOI

10.1177/0003489419828770

First Page

508

Last Page

515

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