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    Date submitted
  • 27-Aug-2017

hearX Group Pty (Ltd)

Abstract

hearX Group (Pty) Ltd is an award­ winning startup with the mission of providing affordable access to healthcare using mHealth solutions that anyone can use, anywhere. The hearX Group has gone to market with the award­ winning hearScreen product while many more innovative products are currently in research & development or beta implementation stages. In many African nations, the general awareness of hearing loss is low and the severe shortage of health personnel and prohibitively expensive equipment has caused a lack of screening programs, resulting in most people being unable to access hearing healthcare. Our innovative solutions have been used to screen over 70 000 people in 25 countries across the world and are as accurate, but faster, cheaper and easier to use than traditional methods.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

We have a wide network of clients namely; John Hopkins University, World Health Organization, USAid, World Wide Hearing, RTI International, Western Cape Government, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Partners in Health and Deadly Ears to name a few. Our range of customers include; audiologists, ear­nose and throat therapists, occupational therapists, general practitioners, schools, clinics, nurses and ancillary hearing healthcare providers.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Hearing loss is called the silent epidemic, ranking as the 5th most significant global burden of disease based on years lived with disability. Hearing loss is an invisible, and therefore often underestimated, disabling condition. It has pervasive and far reaching effects on development in children including speech, language, cognition and socio­emotional well­being and is one of the major barriers to educational success. In adults its effects include social isolation, increased depression and cognitive decline with a threefold increased risk of developing dementia. It also results in higher unemployment rates, lower earning capacity, poor overall health, fatigue, and increased health care costs and mortality rates. The hearX Group offers world­first clinical smartphone hearing test solutions with the aim to provide healthy hearing for everyone, everywhere. This has been done through developing smartphone technologies that enable a layperson to conduct a hearing test remotely only needing access to the screening device and mobile data. The hearX Group has gone to market with several products since the launch of its flagship product hearScreen, an innovative mobile health application for clinically­valid, time­efficient, low­cost screening using pure tone audiometry. To date, our suite of hearing and vision products has conducted over 70 000 tests across 25 countries worldwide. Of those screened, 6 976 have been identified with hearing loss.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

It has been proven that early detection followed by appropriate healthcare ensures optimal quality of life outcomes. hearScreen, the world’s first clinically valid hearing screening solution on a smartphone developed for ease of use and adheres to international standards for audiometry. Key features of our hearing screening product are accurate testing according to ISO calibration standards, onsite data capturing, rich patient, test and environmental data captured and uploaded, location based referrals, geotagged test, low­ cost solution, smart noise monitoring, cloud­based data management, online portal for management, learn more, automated testing & interpretation, international best practice protocols for automated, tests and interpretation allows laypersons to conduct tests, quality control features, smart features to ensure onsite quality control and operator reliability. By employing a smartphone platform, hearX provides an opportunity for early detection by end­users with the potential to inform and refer patients to their closest healthcare provider using SMS or e­mail add­on services. Smartphone health surveillance and monitoring have gained significant traction with an estimated 1.7 billion downloads expected by the end of 2017 and global revenues reaching $21.5 billion in 2018 (Economist, 2016). Our mHealth solutions are cheaper and faster than traditional methods and most importantly are mobile with our integrated cloud­based data management and surveillance platform.