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This is the cheapest hearing aid in the world!

An Indian bio-engineer has developed a high-performance, miniature hearing aid. This one costs almost nothing, requires little time to manufacture and is homemade. This innovation could in theory transform the daily lives of millions of people.

Equip as many people as possible

As the World Health Organization (WHO) explains in a publication of March 1, 2020, the world has 466 million people with a disabling hearing loss. Among them, we find 34 million children. This is therefore a real public health problem. In 2018, a British designer presented his HeX headphones, intended for the hearing impaired. However, who can really afford this kind of headphones and other good quality hearing aids?

Indeed, a large proportion of those affected are in countries where poverty is rampant. As Interesting Engineering explains in an article from September 24, 2020, bio-engineer Saad Bahmla says he has found the solution with the cheapest hearing aid in the world ! The goal:equip as many people as possible and break down social barriers.

Manufacturing for less than a dollar

Saad Bahmla is an Indian who grew up in Mumbai (Bombay). During his studies, his maternal grandparents almost lost their hearing. The student then could not afford to buy hearing aids. Fifteen years later, Saad Bahmla is a bio-engineer and professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology (United States). The interested party today wears a miniature hearing aid project and economic whose details can be found in a publication of the review Plos One from September 23, 2020.

With his team, Saad Bahmla developed an open source object and Do It Yourself (DIY). To build yourself in about 25 minutes, the device is easily repairable. In the case of mass production, the cost price would be less than 1 dollar. For a unit manufacture at home, it would take about twenty dollars, a sum that remains reasonable. In both cases, this device called LoCHAid is none other than the cheapest hearing aid in the world.

Coming soon?

For Saad Bahmla, the goal was to build a minimalist hearing aid that was effective and easily usable for millions of people. Researchers focused on age-related hearing loss . They have simplified its manufacture by reducing the sound frequencies that need to be amplified.

This is the cheapest hearing aid in the world!

In the video visible at the end of the article, the bio-engineer shows that his concept is effective. The interested party added an amplifier and a frequency filter on a small circuit board. Then, he installed a volume button, an ignition button, a jack and a lithium-ion battery. Once constructed, LoCHAid can be worn around the neck like a kind of necklace. In addition, the life of the device is about one year. According to initial tests, LoCHAid increases by 15 decibels person's hearing ability. In addition, the latter retains the bass tones.

Researchers have published the technical details on the GitHub platform. Anyone can make their own device. However, scientists really want to commercialize their innovation. At first, it is a question of developing a device a little more expensive, that is to say with a manufacturing cost of 7 dollars . This would make it possible to sell this product online with a box.