Clinical Validity of hearScreen™ Smartphone Hearing Screening for School Children

Ear Hear. 2016 Jan-Feb;37(1):e11-7. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000223.


Objectives: The study aimed to determine the validity of a smartphone hearing screening technology (hearScreen™) compared with conventional screening audiometry in terms of (1) sensitivity and specificity, (2) referral rate, and (3) test time.

Design: One thousand and seventy school-age children in grades 1 to 3 (8 ± 1.1 average years) were recruited from five public schools. Children were screened twice, once using conventional audiometry and once with the smartphone hearing screening. Screening was conducted in a counterbalanced sequence, alternating initial screen between conventional or smartphone hearing screening.

Results: No statistically significant difference in performance between techniques was noted, with smartphone screening demonstrating equivalent sensitivity (75.0%) and specificity (98.5%) to conventional screening audiometry. While referral rates were lower with the smartphone screening (3.2 vs. 4.6%), it was not significantly different (p > 0.05). Smartphone screening (hearScreen™) was 12.3% faster than conventional screening.

Conclusion: Smartphone hearing screening using the hearScreen™ application is accurate and time efficient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone / instrumentation
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone / methods*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / instrumentation
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Smartphone*