Objective: To develop and evaluate a software application capable of conducting Pure-Tone Audiometry tests in clinical practice. Design: We designed and developed a mobile software application for iPad devices that performs Pure-Tone Audiometry according to ANSI and IEC standards. The application is proposed to be operated by a trained audiologist inside a sound booth. No extra equipment is required. Hence, it updates the procedure by showing the versatility of the proposed system. Particularly, it provides manual and automated measurement, including air- and bone-conduction audiometry. Study sample: Twenty-nine participants-patients of Papageorgiou Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece were tested, with all degrees of hearing sensitivity. Manual air- and bone-conduction Pure-Tone Audiometry was conducted inside a sound booth. Participants were tested with conventional audiometry and the audiometric application, in order to validate the tablet-based audiometer for measuring hearing thresholds. Results: The majority (90.9%) of air-conduction estimated hearing thresholds and (90.8%) of air-bone gaps were within 5 dB, compared to results obtained by conventional audiometry. Thus, threshold differences were not significant. Conclusions: The proposed audiometer is a reliable and valid tool for hearing assessment. Owing to certain limitations, mobile devices can provide a feasible substitute for conventional audiometry in clinical practice.
Keywords: Behavioural measures; PTA; adult or general hearing screening; mobile devices.