Research Thread IV: The H4A hearing devices of the future
The functionality of currently available hearing devices is still unsatisfactory, as a result of limitations in presenting the appropriate signals to the (dysfunctional) auditory system, non-optimised information and signal preprocessing, restrictions in user control, and the lack of a biological therapy component to improve the underlying neurobiology of the individual hearing loss.
Based on the solutions from the first funding period, new, highly integrated system concepts, hardware and software solutions for research and applications will result from interdisciplinary research on comprehensive system technology. This translational research focus will enable the cluster to serve all degrees of hearing impairment and to achieve its ultimate goal of Hearing for All in the future.
The fourth research thread integrates research and development towards functional concepts, novel stimulation principles, hardware, software and algorithms for a groundbreaking hearing device system technology. This will enable the cluster to achieve its ambitious goals, i.e., to implement the “IT-based diagnostics and rehabilitation” and “auditory precision medicine” research threads utilizing the most advanced hearing device technology available worldwide.
Devices of the future will be “human-centred”, i.e., the subject will be the centre of all technology. In particular, closed-loop concepts utilizing biosignals for device adaptation and the empowerment of the patient, giving them control over their own device through the use of intelligent software interfaces, will define a new era of hearing devices.
To this end, device concepts based on the research results from the first funding period and from the results of Research Thread I will be employed to design innovative functional principles and algorithms of next-generation devices while covering the whole range of acoustic, electric and alternative modes of stimulation including any combinations thereof.