I first met DeWet Swanepoel on the sidelines of the biggest Nordic Startup Tech Festival Slush in November 2015. He was representing his South African based startup hearScreen, as part of the Finnish Foreign Ministry’s Global Impact Accelerator at Slush Impact
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “Over 5% of the world’s population – 360 million people – has disabling hearing loss (328 million adults and 32 million children). Disabling hearing loss refers to hearing loss greater than 40 decibels (dB) in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children. The majority of people with disabling hearing loss live in low- and middle-income countries.”
Also the latest Global Burden of Disease Study estimated that 1.23 billion people had some form of hearing impairment (20 dB or more), of which 414.5 million had moderate or greater hearing loss.
So basically what we have is a situation where 1 in 7 people in the world have some kind of hearing impairment.
The reason I really like “hearScreen” apart from it’s affordability is the fact that it is clinically validated and can be used not just in low-infrastructure places like emerging markets but can easily be imagined as a clinical tool in developed markets.
Also according to the team behind hearScreen – “The screening process for hearing loss takes under one minute and can be conducted by people without audiology training. The data from the screening test is then easily uploaded onto a cloud-based server for evaluation.”