In August 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration issued the final rule to establish a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.1 Over-the-counter hearing aids are intended for use by adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss without the need for an audiologist to adjust and program the device for the user’s level of hearing as is currently done for most conventional hearing aids. One key aspect of the effectiveness of these future OTC hearing aids is provision of the correct level of sound amplification based on the individual’s level of hearing. Thus, a feature to import prior hearing test (audiogram) results into these devices may be an important consideration to ensure optimal amplification of sound. A 2021 Apple iOS 15 update (Apple Inc, Cupertino, California) included features termed “headphone accommodation” and “conversation boost” that allow the sound output from compatible earphones to be customized based on a user’s prior audiogram and may be the prelude to future OTC hearing aids. Users have the option of manually inputting audiogram results or relying on an automated image recognition system that extracts hearing data from an image of the audiogram. Our study aims to examine the accuracy of the automated audiogram image recognition in the iPhone using a large sample of audiogram reports representing various degrees of hearing loss.
Choi, J. S., Gathman, T. J., Lin, F. R. et al. (2023). Performance of smartphone automated audiogram image recognition for personalized sound amplification. JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2022.4383