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Launch of new innovative app for children with Glue Ear ​

by Kirstie Flack | Mar 11, 2019

Hear Glue Ear App collage

As part of World Hearing Day (Sunday 3rd March) Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, has showcased a new ‘Hear Glue Ear’ app designed for children aged 2-6 who are experiencing hearing loss due to glue ear.

The app was recently launched at the Trust’s children’s services hub at the Peacock Centre, Mill Road, Cambridge.

Funded and designed in partnership with the Cambridge Hearing Trust and Cambridge Digital Health, the app aims to reduce learning and development delays that can occur when children have hearing loss. Glue ear is caused by a build-up of fluid and mucous behind the ear drum which prevents sounds being transferred to the inner part of the hearing system.

Dr Tamsin Brown, Community Paediatrician, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust said: “We have worked closely with the Cambridge Hearing Trust Charity and Cambridge Digital Health to develop the app, which is available now free of charge to all families with glue ear from the Apple and Android App Stores.

“The app will help children diagnosed with glue ear to develop speech, language, auditory processing and listening skills at a critical time in their development through specially designed songs, games and audio books.  As well as helping to ensure children do not fall behind with their language skills and work at school, the app also provides valuable information, resources and progress tracking for parents and carers.”

Commenting on the app, Oriane Chausiaux, Managing Director, Cambridge Digital Health said: “We've really enjoyed having the opportunity to create something fun and useful for children and their families who are facing challenges due to Glue Ear.

“We're looking forward to working with Tamsin on additional features for the app to provide even more helpful tools and resources.”

Ian Neville from Cambridge Hearing Trust said: “We were delighted to fund the Hear Glue Ear app and work with Dr Brown and Cambridge Digital Health to turn this into a reality.  We are confident that the app will vastly improve outcomes for children with glue ear.”

Dr Brown has also developed, in her own time, a bone conducting headset to support children with glue ear. She explains: “The headset takes sound and changes this into a vibration; routing it down the bone where the inner hearing system is and bypassing the problem area.  These bone vibration headphones (similar to those worn by cyclists) can be synchronised to either the app or to a small microphone which a teacher or parent can attach to their lapel to improve the child’s ability to hear.  We hope the headsets will be available on the NHS next year.”

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