JAAA Editorial: Rise of the Machines: Audiology and Mobile Devices

JAAA Editorial: Rise of the Machines: Audiology and Mobile Devices

March 27, 2019 Editorials

Vol. 30, No. 3 (March 2019) 
Devin L. McCaslin, Ph.D.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief

Devin L. McCaslin, Ph.D.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief

Over the past few decades, advances in mobile device technology have enabled many of the core audiology tests to be delivered through smart phones or tablet computers. The integration of mobile computing devices into the healthcare environment has resulted in an innovative shift in where and how audiology services can be delivered. The backbone of audiology is, of course, the pure-tone audiogram and speech-recognition testing. Since the 1920s, audiometers used for the diagnostic audiometric evaluation have been largely anchored in audiology clinics where they are utilized in sound attenuated booths. For the purposes of audiometric assessment, there are now a number of companies and research facilities that have developed and marketed software applications built on mobile device platforms. These apps coupled with new headphone technology that allows calibration and sound-attenuation equivalent to a traditional sound-booth are now being used to change traditional audiology practice. What is at question is how do these new forms of technology capable of performing audiometry compare to conventional audiometric testing done in booth and with a traditional audiometer.

In this issue of JAAA, Bornman and colleagues report on the test-retest reliability of extended high frequency (8–12 KhZ) audiometry using a smartphone application. This capability is especially useful for patients being monitored for ototoxicity. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or those being treated with intravenous antibiotics are, in most instances, being seen by multiple specialists to treat their condition. In many instances, patients will have an appointment coordinator to arrange all of their appointments as close together as they can so they can spend as little time in the hospital as possible. The ability to provide hearing monitoring without having to transport the patient to a different department lessens the burden on this fragile population. The investigators report that there was no significant difference between their smartphone application and headphone system when compared to conventional high frequency audiometry. This is encouraging news not only for those patients that are being treated with ototoxic medications but also for those individuals who work in areas with high noise levels. This exciting technology also has promise for monitoring hearing in occupational settings. There is no question that mobile device testing is here and it is reliable. What remains is how to leverage this technology to first, improve our profession’s ability to identify those who need our services and second, provide accurate and sensitive monitoring of hearing.


Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 

Vol. 30, No. 3 (March 2019) • Read Online


Rise of the Machines: Audiology and Mobile Devices 
Devin L. McCaslin 


The Impact of Tinnitus on N-Back Performance in Normal Hearing Individuals
Sebastian Waechter, Linda Hallendorf, Emelie Malmstein, Anna Olsson, and K. Jonas Brannstrom

Interregional Newborn Hearing Screening via Telehealth in Ghana
Graham Amponsah Ameyaw, John Ribera, and Samuel Anim-Sampong

Benefits of Compression Amplification in Telephone Bluetooth-Assistive Listening Devices for People with Hearing Loss
Ching-Hsing Luo, Hung-Yue Chang, Tun-Shin Lo, and Cheng-Chi Tai

Verification Protocol for Signal Transparency Using the Cochlear Mini-Microphone 2+ and Digital Modulation Transmitter and Receiver with Cochlear Implants
Rhonda Sousa, Erika Nair, and Shannon Wannagot

Reliability of the Home Hearing Test: Implications for Public Health
Cornetta L. Mosley, Lauren M. Langley, Adrian Davis, Catherine M. McMahon, and Kelly L. Tremblay

Extended High-Frequency Smartphone Audiometry: Validity and Reliability
Martelle Bornman, De Wet Swanepoel, Leigh Biagio De Jager, and Robert H. Eikelboom

Face and Content Validity of a Probe Tube Placement Training Simulator
Robert W. Koch, Sheila Moodie, Paula Folkeard, Susan Scollie, Conner Janeteas, Sumit K. Agrawal, and Hanif M. Ladak

Contralateral Routing of Signal Yields Significant Speech in Noise Benefit for Unilateral Cochlear Implant Recipients
Robert T. Dwyer, David Kessler, Iliza M. Butera, and Rene H. Gifford 

JAAA CEU Program

JAAA CEU Program


Journal of the American Academy of Audiology
ISSN: 1050-0545
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.30.3.1
Volume 30, Issue 3, pages 168-168
American Academy of Audiology 

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