EarGenie™: Personalised management of hearing impairment for infants receives funding to boost health innovations in Australia

One of 11 projects selected for $10 million BioMedTech Horizons program investment

AEST, Tuesday 17 April, Melbourne, Australia – MTPConnect – the Medical Technology, Biotechnology, and Pharmaceutical (MTP) Industry Growth Centre – and the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, today announced that EarGenie™: Personalised management of hearing impairment for infants and 10 other projects are successful recipients of investment from the Australian Government’s $35 million BioMedTech Horizons program. The program aims to help Australia move more cutting edge-ideas and breakthrough discoveries towards proof-of-concept and commercialisation, and stimulate collaboration across disciplines between the research, industry and technology sectors to maximize entrepreneurship and idea potential.

The EarGenie™ project, led by Professor Colette McKay from the Bionics Institute is focused on developing an innovative system for personalized management of hearing impairment. Over 8,000 Australian babies and young children under 5 years have a permanent hearing loss that could severely impair language development with life-long impacts on their education, employment, and social participation. Unfortunately, there are often significant delays between diagnosis and the selection and accurate adjustment of hearing devices (cochlear implants or hearing aids). The introduction of EarGenie™ into audiology clinics will significantly reduce the delay between diagnosis and optimal access to sound, leading to improved language outcomes for each child. This project will ultimately provide social and economic benefits to the community by decreasing the educational, employment and healthcare burdens associated with early-onset hearing loss.

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