Rehabilitation procedures

The fitting (tuning) of acoustic hearing aids and cochlear implant devices should be preferably based on personal characteristics, such as the audiological profile, ambient acoustical conditions and specific needs of the user for particular classes of acoustic information. Fitting hearing instruments can be a long-term process because of the complex processes involved (multiple parameters, multiple algorithms, adaptation, ...)

The main goal of this part of the HearCom project was to develop new and improved methods for the fitting of acoustic hearing aids and cochlear implants that exploit state-of-art knowledge and technology. New signal enhancement methods and advances in cochlear implants require new approaches to rehabilitation to make the best use of these developments. Throughout, the aim was for effective and time-efficient methods that will improve the quality of hearing rehabilitation services in Europe. A European Internet service will be one important tool in reaching this goal.

The following topics were considered:

  • Survey of fitting procedures and selection of those suitable for Europe-wide use.
  • Implementation of selected procedures (automated optimisation of hearing aid fitting, fitting combination of hearing aid and cochlear implant, user-controlled cochlear implant fitting).
  • Development of additional new methods based on user needs.
  • Specification of methods and guidelines for Europe-wide delivery, including Internet implementation.