Ear Center: Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App - a Home Hearing Screen

Sleeping Baby Hearing Test (SBHT) App - a Home Hearing Screen

The original Sleeping Baby Hearing Screen was developed by the late William House, DDS, M.D.
The SBHT App was developed by Eric M. Kraus, M.D. with the help of Andrew Smith of Studio Six Digital

Other topics on our website:
SBHT App Instructions for parents
SBHT Instructions for physicians
Our Baby is Hearing Impaired
Next Steps
Resources
Sleeping Baby Hearing Foundation article, University of Iowa, Iowa Alumni Magazine, April 2015
Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App article, University of Iowa, Medicine-Iowa, Spring 2015
Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App article, University of Iowa, Loud & Clear, Summer 2015

How to obtain the SBHT App (only available for the iOS platform)

  • Using your Apple iPhone, iTouch, or iPad, tap on the App Icon
  • Under search, type in "Sleeping Baby Hearing Test"
  • Press "Install" to install the free app onto your device
  • You will need to enter your Apple ID when prompted

New! Watch Dr. Kraus's TEDxGreenboro TED talk on the Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App

Dr. Kraus presented a TED talk entitled "Hearing, Smartphones & Empowerment" and the development of the Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App for smartphones/mobile devices at the 2014 TEDxGreensboro Event on May 8, 2014!

Click here to watch the video!

SBHT App

The Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App - Home Hearing Screen (SBHT) is a new iOS app that has enables mothers to perform a non-invasive, behavioral hearing screen at home newborns, age 2 weeks to 6 months, for possible hearing loss using a smartphone or mobile device. The app is offered as a free download for humanitarian purposes.

The SBHT is offered as an adjunct to Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS). The app provides both the basis and instructions for the hearing screen. The app's main feature is that it includes a sound level meter that is required to perform the screen. The app's self-calibrating sound level meter has been specifically designed for the iOS platform.

During the SBHT, mother's use the included sound level meter to visually "see and adjust" the loudness of their voice to 60-70 dB as they say standardized Ling Sounds (included in the app) to their lightly sleeping babies. The SBHT is most reliable when performed by the mother rather than another female speaker or a male speaker.

The SBHT is used to screen newborns for possible hearing loss. If a newborn is ultimately diagnosed as having hearing loss and is fit with hearing aids, the screen may be repeated with the baby wearing hearing aids to elegantly assess whether the hearing aids are providing benefit. (Using the app's database, the user can chose whether the hearing screen was performed without hearing aids (-HA) or with hearing aids (+HA).)

The SBHT facilitates the parent's ability to seek early intervention for their baby so that he/she may have the greatest chance for early intervention in case a genuine hearing loss is ultimately diagnosed by hearing health professionals. Early intervention with hearing aid amplification for moderate to moderately severe hearing loss and cochlear implants for severe to profound hearing loss gives the baby the best possible chance of developing hearing, language and speech.

The SBHT app provides a convenient, easy to use, smarphone/mobile device application that enables newborn hearing screening on a global basis.

Features included in the app:

  • Intuitive "Home Screen" buttons to guide the use of the app
  • Clear explanation concerning the basis for the SBHT
  • Step-by-Step instructions on how to perform the SBHT
  • Link to a video demonstrating newborns being screened
  • Self-calibrating, "A" weighted sound level meter with toggle "ON-OFF" button
  • List of "Ling Sounds", used for the test, that are conveniently located with the sound level meter
  • Database for logging results, including test date and time, "Pass" or "Refer", and whether the SBHT was performed without hearing aids (-HA) or with hearing aids (+HA).
  • Guidance for parents as to the "Next Step" once the results of the hearing screening have been obtained
  • Information about a free app called "ENTLINK" that has been developed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Foundation to help parents locate an Ear, Nose and Throat physician in their area

SBHT Screens

Screen 1: Home Screen

  • The Home Screen contains buttons to navigate the app.
  • About the test button: explains the What, Why, Where, When, How of the app.
  • Instructions button: provides a link to a video and detailed instructions as to how to perform the SBHT hearing screen
  • Perform the test button: provides the list of Ling Sounds used for the screen, a self-calibrating, "A weighted", sound level meter to measure ambient sound in the nursery and to measure the loudness of the mother's voice while she says the Ling Sounds. A green button is provided to toggle the sound level meter "ON-OFF".
  • Enter test results button: a database is provided to log the results of each screening test. Tapping on the data entry line brings up a date/time picker, "Pass" or "Refer" results, and whether the screen was performed without hearing aids
    (-HA) or with hearing aids (+HA).

app_screen_1
SBHT app: Screen 1

 

Screen 2: About the Test

  • About the test: provides basic information concerning the SBHT - Home Hearing Screen
  • You will learn the What, Why, Where, and How about the test along with general information
screen_2_about
SBHT app: Screen 2

 

Screen 3: Instructions

  • Screen 3 provides detailed instructions for performing the test
  • A link to a video is provided that demonstrates how the test is performed
  • The video show the use of a Sound Level Meter. The app itself provides a built-in Sound Level Meter
screen_3_instructions
SBHT app: Screen 3

 

Screen 4: Perform the Test

  • Screen 4 provides Ling Sounds that the mother speaks during the screening test
  • A green button located near the center of the screen is used to toggle the sound level meter "ON-OFF". The digital numbers will change as the sound level changes in the environment.
  • Place your iPhone, iTouch, or iPad close the your baby's ear in a quiet room (no louder than 50 dB as measured by the sound level meter)
  • Within 5 minutes of your baby falling asleep, say the Ling Sounds at between 60-70 dB and observe your baby for arousal behavior.
  • If your baby arouses, record the test as a "Pass".
  • If your baby does not arouse, record the test as a "Refer" and repeat the test several times during several days
  • If your baby is not arousing, contact your baby's physician and schedule an appointment to have your baby examined.
screen_4_test_results
SBHT app: Screen 4

 

Screen 5 - Enter Test Results

  • Screen 5 provides a convenient database for entering test results
  • Tap on the "Tap" line. A date/time picker will appear. Dial in the date and time.
  • Dial in "Pass" is your baby arouses to Ling Sounds spoken at 60-70 dB. Dial in "Refer" if your baby does not arouse.
  • Dial in (-HA) if your baby is not wearing hearing aids during the test (most common situation)
  • Dial in (+HA) if your baby is wearing hearing aids during the test.
  • Press the "Save" bar to save the results.
  • Repeat the test as many times as you desire.
screen_5_database
SBHT app: Screen 5

 

Screen 6: Next Step

  • Screen 6 explains what to do next after you have performed the screening test
  • Please contact your doctor
  • Information is provided as concerning ENTLINK, a free app created by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Foundation that is available from iTunes. ENTLINK will help you locate an Ear, Nose, and Throat Physician in your area.
  • A link is provided to this website for further information
screen_6_next_step
SBHT app: Screen 6

 

Supported Devices & Platform*

At this time, the SBHT app is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (3rd. generation), iPod Touch (4th. generation), iPod Touch (5th. generation), iPad, and iPad Mini. The app is optimized for iPhone 5 and requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Version: 1.0

Size: 2.1 MB

Rating: 4+

Category: Medical

*At this time, the app is not available for the Android, Google, or Microsoft platforms.

The hope is that early detection of hearing loss and early intervention with hearing aids and cochlear implants will lead to improved hearing, speech and language function, and cognitive development for all of our children.

Noninvasive behavioral test

The Sleeping Baby Hearing Test - a Home Hearing Screen is noninvasive. Nothing touches your sleeping baby, except the mother's voice.

Click here to read instructions for parents to administer the Sleeping Baby Home Hearing Screen.

How to Administer the Sleeping Baby Hearing Test Screen

 

Sleeping Baby Hearing Foundation Featured in University of Iowa Alumni Magazine - April 2015

SBHF_Iowa_Alumni_Mag_April_2015

Written by Shelbi Thomas and published by the University of Iowa, Iowa Alumni Magazine, April 2015, p.25.

To learn more about the Sleeping Baby Hearing Foundation, a 501c3 organization, and its work, please visit the SBHF web site at www.sleepingbabyhearingfoundation.org.

Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App Featured in Medicine Iowa Magazine- Spring 2015

SBHT_App_Medicine_Iowa

Written by Dawn Goodlove and published by the University of Iowa, Medicine Iowa Magazine, Spring 2015, p.26.

Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App Featured in the "Loud & Clear" Newsletter, Summer 2015

SBHT_article_Loud_Clear_Iowa_2015

Written by Dawn Goodlove and published by the University of Iowa, Loud & Clear, News for Alumni & Friends of the University of Iowa, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Summer 2015, Volumn 4, Issue 2, page 7.

Disclaimer

The SBHT - Home Hearing Screen is a subjective, behavioral hearing screen and is not meant to be a substitute for formal, objective hearing tests that are performed by specially trained Audiologists or Otologists (Ear, Nose and Throat physicians specializing in hearing loss and medical-surgical treatment of diseases of the ear).

Please note that all hearing screening procedures, as well as all objective audiometric tests, are subject to false positive and false negative results. The Sleeping Baby Hearing Test screen is a behavioral screen. The screen is not quantitative and is not presented as a substitute for more formal, objective audiometric tests such as auditory brainstem response testing (ABR), otoacoustic emission testing (OAE), and stapedial reflexes (ART's). Even these tests have specific limitations.

The SBHT is offered as a public service and for humanitarian purposes, to enhance parental involvement, and to aid in the early detection of possible hearing loss.

Babies may "Pass" the screen and still have hearing loss in one or both ears. Babies may "Fail" (Refer) the test and not have hearing loss.

The SBHT is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not delay in seeking medical advice and do not disregard professional medical advice once obtained because of information that has been obtained using this app.

The overall goal is to aid in the early identification of children with hearing loss in infants ages 2 weeks to 6 months old who have "failed" newborn hearing screening or may have "Passed" with false negative results (passed the nursery hearing screen but really have hearing loss). Early referral of children who do not pass the screen to hearing specialists (otologists and audiologists) and to medical centers that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of children with hearing loss is essential. The hope is that early intervention will help to maximum the baby's hearing, speech & language as well as growth and cognitive development.

To learn more about the Sleeping Baby Hearing Test - a Home Hearing Screen, please contact our office at 336-273-9932 and ask to speak to one of our Audiologists.

Acknowledgment: We are extremely grateful to the late Dr. William House, the father of modern cochlear implantation, for developing the original version of the Sleeping Baby Hearing Test - a Home Hearing Screen. It is an elegant, non-invasive screening method designed to help with the early detection and intervention of hearing loss in infants. Dr. House died on December 7, 2012.

The SBHT app was designed by Eric M. Kraus, M.D. A special thank you to Andrew Smith of Studio Six Digital for his help in the creation of the SBHT app. The app is dedicated to the memory of William F. House, D.D.S, M.D. who gave his permission to convert the original SBHS into an app.

Copyright 2013-15, The Ear Center of Greensboro, P.A. All rights reserved.

Last revised November 3, 2015