Children and Young People's Audiology Centre hosts workshop

Monday 19 May 2014

Professor Harvey Dillon demonstrates HEARLab equipment

On Thursday 15 May the Children and Young People’s Audiology Centre at St Thomas’ hosted a pan-London workshop introducing HEARLab equipment for cortical measurements to detect whether particular sounds produce an electrical response in a patient’s brain.

HEARLab is a useful tool to assess the hearing of infants and young children who have not yet developed language skills, young adults who have communication difficulties, and uncooperative patients.

Cortical measurements are performed when the patient is alert and awake and they can be entertained during the test with reading material or a silent DVD. Small children can be tested while being held in their parent’s arms and playing with a quiet toy.

The workshop was led by Professor Harvey Dillon, Director of the National Acoustics Laboratory in Sydney, Australia. He has performed research into many aspects of hearing aids including their design and function.

The HEARLab developed by Professor Dillon and his colleagues can be used to see whether an infant’s brain generates a response to three natural speech sounds. The presence of responses to all three sounds provides reassurance that an infant is able to detect sounds across the range of speech frequencies, which in turn should enable them to start the process of speech and language development. The HEARlab increases the accuracy of hearing aid fitting in young infants and will be invaluable when trying to reassure parents and families that their child is able to hear.

One of the workshop participants, Vanessa Sharp, clinical lead in paediatric audiology from Brighton and Sussex University Trust, said: “I must congratulate the Children and Young People’s Audiology Centre for an inspirational seminar led by Harvey Dillon.

“We were provided with up-to-date research and clinical applications of cortical auditory evoked potential analyzer (CAEP). The hands-on practice was invaluable and I left the seminar inspired to change my clinical practical to incorporate CAEP to improve outcomes for deaf children.

“I also enjoyed a tour of the Centre, especially the new Hummingbird Clinic which is a specialist hearing assessment clinic for autistic and complex needs children. It was great to see some innovative toys and approaches to paediatric testing.”

Professor Harvey Dillon has published more than 200 scientific papers, 12 book chapters, and is the author of a comprehensive textbook on hearing aids used throughout the world.

Last updated: May 2014

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