Internet-based hearing screening – digit triplets task

Internet-based hearing screening  – digit triplets task

Electronic medicine (e-medicine) uses multimedia technology to deliver medical services. It represents a very innovative approach in providing quality health care whenever and wherever needed. Applications of e-medicine show great promise in hearing healthcare because of the ability to deliver tests and treatment (such as training for listening ability) via the internet. Our work explores the opportunities of the internet to provide an accessible form of screening/diagnosis that can be self-administered, away from the clinic.

The Digit Triplets Test is a speech-in-noise test, i.e. a test of speech intelligibility in a background of noise. It assesses the ability to hear someone speaking when there’s background noise, similar to being in a crowded room. The advantage of this kind of check is that it checks hearing ability in a real-life way. We have developed a specialised version of this test which detects difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds. We anticipate that this test might provide a sensitive assessment because the high-frequency range of hearing is the most susceptible to hearing loss.

The high-frequency sound files are subject to copyright © 2011 Nottingham University Hospitals (NHS) Trust and The University of Nottingham. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This short video clip shows how the Digit Triplets Task works. During the check, a female voice repeats sets of three randomly generated numbers for you to try to hear and key in.

For example, you may hear “The digits 3, 4, 6”, therefore your response would be 3, 4, 6.

The better you do, the harder the check will become.

It is possible to use the Digit Triplets Test for mass screening of the population. In fact, you can join the half a million people who have already tried the test for themselves, by visiting the website of the charity ‘Action on Hearing Loss’.

Triple digits test