Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App - a Home Hearing Screen
Instructions for Physicians

Physician Instructions for the Sleeping Baby Hearing Test App (SBHT) - a Home Hearing Screen

A new app has been developed to permit the use of the SBHT on Apple smartphones and mobile devices running iOS version 5.0 or later

  • iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S, or 5)
  • iTouch (3rd, 4th, and 5th generations
  • iPad and IPad Mini

Navigate this page:

What to tell the parents of your patients?
Basis for the SBHT - Home Hearing Screen
What is the SBHT App?
Why develop the SBHT App?
How is the SBHT performed?
What is the Next Step?
Why are we trying to identify hearing loss early?

What to tell the parents of your patients...

At the appointment, have your office nurse explain the SBHT app to the parent(s). Tell them that the SBHT app is a free app that they may download from the Apple App store. Using an iPhone, iTouch, or iPad, have the parent(s) watch the video that is included on the "Instructions" screen of the app.

Click here to view the Can My Baby Hear video (coming soon)

Basis for the SBHT - Home Hearing Screen

Explain that the basis of the SBHT - Home Hearing Screen is that during the last 4 months of pregnancy, normal hearing infants, sleeping in the womb, when awakened by the mother's voice, will move or kick. After birth, from 2 weeks to 6 months of age, when a lightly sleeping baby hears his/hers mother's voice, this reflex strongly persists as shown in the video.

What is the SBHT App?

  • SBHT App is a free app used to perform the Sleeping Baby Hearing Screen at home using an Apple¬†smartphone or tablet
  • SBHT is an adjunct to Universal Newborn Hearing Screening
  • Features include:
    • Simple home screen to guide the user through the screen
    • Detailed instructions
    • Link to a video that demonstrates the SBHT in use
    • “A” weighted, self-calibrating sound level meter
    • Ling Sounds list
    • Database for logging results
    • “Next Step” instructions
    • Directions to ENTLINK app to help locate a local ENT
  • Available at the Apple App Store, available worldwide
  • Requires iOS version 5.0 or later
    • iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, 5
    • iTouch 3rd, 4th, & 5th. Generations
    • iPad & iPad Mini
  • Category = Medical
  • Version 1.0
  • Size = 2.1 MB
  • Rating = 4+
  • Developed with Andrew Smith of Studio Six Digital
  • Copyright 2013, The Ear Center of Greensboro, P.A.

Why develop the SBHT app?

  • Why do we need the SBHT app?
  • Most infants in the US undergo hearing screening immediately after birth
  • There are many false positives and false negatives
  • US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Even 45% of infants who do not pass UNHS do not receive appropriate follow-up
  • Does not even address the false negatives
  • Hearing loss is the most common birth defect
  • 1-3/1000 infants
  • 2-4/100 in NICU infants
  • Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH)
    • Established 30 years ago
    • 1994 universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS)
    • 2000 approved by US Preventive Services
  • Implications for neurologic development
  • Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) is often performed by volunteers and not audiologists
    • Many false positives - high rate of failure to follow-up
    • Some false negatives - these children are not diagnosed until ages 2-4 with delayed speech production
    • Some babies are not born in hospitals and do not undergo newborn hearing screening
  • Some newborns pass the UNHS and develop hearing loss during the first few years of life
  • Infants with SNHL are not always identified early with UNHS
  • Nearly ¬Ĺ of those identified do not receive appropriate follow-up
  • Mobile smartphone/tablet app
    • Free app for iOS platform
    • Readily available worldwide
    • Easy for parents to perform
    • Can cause no harm
    • Increase parental involvement
    • Increase early detection of hearing loss

How is the SBHT performed?

  • SBHT screening steps:
    • Newborn is laid down for sleep in a quiet room (< 5o dB as measured by the app's sound meter)
    • Smartphone/tablet is positioned within 2 inches of the baby's ear
    • SBHT sound pressure meter can be seen by the mother
    • Mother stands at arms length (2 feet)
    • Mother speaks Ling Sounds and uses the app’s sound meter to adjust her voice to 60 dB
    • Newborn is observed for arousal behaviors (normal screen) or not arousing (abnormal screen)
    • Mother records “Pass” or “Refer” response in the app’s database along with the date/time & with or without Heariing Aids
    • May be repeated over time

What is the "Next Step"

  • Parents are encouraged to follow=up with their physician after performing the SBHT
  • If you have any doubts as to whether the baby may have some hearing loss, please refer the baby to your local ENT or Otologist for further evaluation and formal hearing testing (OAE's, ART's, ABR, etc.)
  • You may also contact our office for further information at 336-273-9932.

Why are we trying to identify hearing loss early?

  • Because we can intervene. Early intervention does optimize outcome.
  • We will perform a thorough H&P, order the necessary hearing evaluations and laboratory diagnostics, including genetic testing, if appropriate
  • We will order appropriate CT scans of the temporal bones and/or MRI head scans
  • We will fit the baby with appropriate hearing aid amplification
  • We will consider cochlear implants for infants 12mo or older, either one or both ears
  • Early intervention leads to better hearing, speech & language development, 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.