Apps are downloadable programs on mobile devices that provide individuals with a service, whether it’s a game to pass the time, a recipe creator, or a convenient flashlight. These apps have become one of the most popular features of Apple and Android mobile devices and now the hearing impaired have access to apps extending from hearing tests to actual hearing aids. The uncomplicated accessibility of theses apps has increased usage among patients and has sparked curiosity of the hearing industry.
These are the apps that we at The Hearing Professionals have found to be the most helpful to our patients (and for that matter to be the most fun!).
uHear is a unique hearing loss screening test application available for download to the iPhone and iPod touch. uHear can screen for potential hearing loss through three assessments: Hearing Sensitivity, Speech in Noise and Questionnaire about common listening situations. uHear also offers a “locate” function to help users find the nearest hearing health care professional for a full assessment. uHear is not intended to replace the hearing assessment provided by a hearing health care professional. In the application, Unitron advices users that they should visit a hearing health care professional for further testing if a hearing loss is suspected.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing and love movies, Captionfish lets you know about every captioned film in your area. The Captionfish Instant CC Film Finder enables visitors to find captioned movies within 30 miles of their location. Viewers can search any geographic region, sort by title and captioning type (Rear Window Captioned, Open Captioned, etc.) and customize results for up to 7 days our or up to 60 miles away. Captionfish even streams captioned movie trailers so you know just what to anticipate.
soundAMP is a software application that turns iPhone, iPod touch and iPad into high quality hearing solutions. Sounds are picked up by the microphone, amplified and processed in real time by soundAMP and sent to your earbuds. You can adjust volume by sliding the volume button. You can adjust for background sound levels for each situation by moving the Zoom slider. If you like to hear what was just said without asking your friend to repeat him or herself, just tap the Instant Replay button. This gives you instant access to the last 30 seconds of conversation.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have a hearing loss? Do you have a family member with hearing loss? The Hearing Loss Simulator allows you to choose a specific hearing loss configuration and then listen to sounds as though you have that particular hearing loss. The Hearing Loss Simulator contains pre-recorded common sounds and has the option to let you record your own voice for playback though the different hearing loss configurations. The Hearing Loss Simulator includes graphics to show where the common sounds, speech, and individual speech sounds are located for loudness and frequency.
Volume Decibel Meter provides a way to measure environmental sound levels, showing the approximate dB level (decibel level). It also provides an approximate “decibel guide” at the bottom of the application interface, so that you know what sound levels correspond to a health hazard. Please note that microphone sensitivities vary a lot so the reading you get should be considered approximate (take it with a grain of salt!). This decibel meter also gives you a convenient start/stop button, and records the minimum and maximum decibel reading. You simply tap on those readings to reset the minimum and maximum back to zero.
Sign 4Me is the ultimate tool for learning sign language and it’s the only app that provides sign language in 3D! The library includes more than 11,500 words. Type in sentences, phrases, words and even the alphabet. Everything you enter will be saved in your History. Us the controls to speed up or slow down the signing; turn on or off the looping feature; and send the character to his “home” or default position. Even though this app costs nearly $10, it’s worth every penny!