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Implication of new technologies in deafness healthcare: deafness rehabilitation using prospective design of hearing aid systems

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1 Author(s)
A. Ben Hamida ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Sfax Univ.

We consider how new technologies could be used, particularly in deafness healthcare. This concerns recent designs of hearing aid systems dedicated to restoring hearing, at least partially. In general, the apparatus could be in two basic forms: a conventional hearing aid dedicated to restore hearing loss that is not severs, and cochlear prostheses dedicated to restoring total or profound hearing loss. With the development of digital signal processing `DSP' technologies, these prostheses are becoming more flexible in use and performance. Two complementary strategies for digital speech processing could be proposed for hearing-aid systems using a DSP-driven board. These two strategies were conceived around a temporal approach utilising a filter bank model and a spectral approach utilising a fast Fourier transform `FFT'. Clinically, it is important to distinguish these two strategies especially during apparatus adjustments, to achieve patient comfort. Digital signal processing dedicated to hearing aid research was based on an adjustable FFT/filter-bank based algorithm. It could be adapted to speech amplification in a conventional hearing aid, or to electrical stimulation in cochlear prostheses. This algorithm, which should be used in flexible and fully programmable devices, would certainly improve hearing capacity since we have included additional possibilities in processing sounds

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Technology and Society, 2000. University as a Bridge from Technology to Society. IEEE International Symposium on

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