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High-tech dummy allows DMU students freedom to test new hearing aids

Audiology students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are now able to get more practice fitting hearing aids thanks to a new high-tech dummy.

DMU’s Audiology lab has become one of the first in the country to purchase an £18,000 KEMAR dummy – a head and torso simulator used for measuring the performance of acoustic devices such as hearing aids and noise protectors, with the aim of allowing students to practise further.

KEMA-main

While the device itself has been used for auditory research for a number of years, the mannequin is fairly unique as it is one of a handful used for teaching purposes in the UK.

Jeff Davies, lecturer in BSC Healthcare Science Audiology and Foundation Degree (Fd) Audiology, said: “It will give students the opportunity to get hands-on experience straight away in fitting verifying the performance of hearing aids alongside fitting a probe tube that goes into the ear canal.

“Without it you might need access to a given patient, which can be time consuming while waiting for ethical consent to be given.

“If the student has never done it before they don’t have to worry about hurting or harming anyone, they can boost their confidence and practical skills before undertaking their actual placements.”

Another benefit is that the mannequin can be customised to suit certain dimensions and even hair, with certain hair length seeing a change in the way the sound is diffracted.

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The development is just one of a range of future plans for the department to add to their impressive facilities.

Mr Davies added: “There are a number of other pieces of speciality equipment that we’ve either recently purchased in the last year or are hoping to purchase.

“We’ve just acquired a third lab, which has balance equipment along with a rotatory chair which can be used for diagnostic purposes and to test balance mechanisms.”

For more information on the Audiology courses on offer, click here.

Posted on Thursday 14th January 2016

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