Around 466 Million people worldwide have disabled hearing loss and 44 Million of these are children. In Austria one to two children in 1000 are born with a hearing disorder.
Among other methods for treating hearing loss, a cochlea implant is used to transform the sound waves into direct electrical stimulation. Since the stimulation does not sound like “normal” acoustic sound, this different way of hearing must be practiced. A successful rehabilitation of the auditory functions requires dedicated practice. However, there is little or no training material, especially in the pediatric field. Another problem is the lack of trainings with German or even Austrian vocabulary as well as the motivation of the patients.
Studies emphasize that additional modern auditory training like apps may increase therapy adherence.Therefore the vision of this project is to combine the smart assistant Amazon Alexa with a robot ball called Sphero bolt to create an innovative and interactive auditory training for children with cochlea implants.
With Voiceflow, we developed a skill named “Coch-LEA” for Amazon Alexa. By answering the listening exercise questions from alexa sphero bolt navigates further through the labyrinth giving verbal and visual feedback wether the answer was correct or not. Our primary goal is to use this gamified experience to increase the child’s motivation and compliance and consequently their therapy success in the long term.
Playground Exercise 1 “Geräuschedetektiv”
The usability analysis with experts recognised and analysed sources of error, so that it is possible for the project team to make user-friendly changes on the product.
Regardless of whether the experts had a therapeutic or pedagogical professional background, they were thoroughly convinced by the setting and also felt that it was adequate, unique and appropriate for working with children. However, some of the participants pointed out that appropriate instruction and explanation would be necessary beforehand, and that the presence of a caregiver would be an advantage.
The standardized questionnaires SUS and KIM showed that the majority of the experts were satisfied and could imagine using Coch-LEA in everyday work. This type of listening training not only has a motivating effect, but Coch-LEA is also characterized by its user-friendliness.
Coch-LEA – A Listening Exercise Adventure to increase motivation and success of the therapy.
A project at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences
Master Program Digital Healthcare
Project Coach: Andreas Jakl