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.