Drs. Sam Denys, Leuven (Belgium)
“Real-ear measurements integrated in the fitting software: Repeatability, accuracy and perceptual outcomes”
Real-ear measurements (REM) are useful to determine whether the performance of a hearing aid (HA) matches the prescriptive targets, and adjust the HA so as to improve this match. Despite proven advantages, few audiologists use REM because the procedures are believed to be complex, time-consuming, and not to result in better outcomes compared to First Fit approaches.
Recently, Phonak developed a system that controls the REM equipment from within the fitting software (TargetMatch), and automatically fits to target.
Ten normal hearing subjects were fitted using different acoustic couplings. Moreover, ten experienced HA users were adjusted based on TargetMatch as well as with a non-integrated REM-based approach. The same subjects were enrolled in a cross-over study, comparing a First Fit to a verified fitting using TargetMatch. Perceptual outcomes, such as sound quality and speech intelligibility, and self-perceived benefit were assessed, both immediately after the fitting and after a two-week home trial.
In the study with normal hearing subjects, test-retest differences for aided measurements were generally equal to, or smaller than, 2 dB, except for higher frequencies. Targets were well matched within a 3 dB margin of error. Results for the hearing impaired users will be presented.