FPAA Based Design of Assistive Listening Device for Hearing Disorders People

Author Name(s): Dr. Sudhir B. Lande, Suresh S. Balpande
Author Email: landeeed@yahoo.com


An assistive listening device (ALD) beyond hearing aids can assist individuals with hearing loss. The traditional aid is similar to a radio, which can be adjusted for volume. The hearing loss is not just a technical loss of volume. Hearing disorder looses sensitivity and reduces tolerance to certain sounds while diminishing sensitivity to others. For instance, technology can differentiate between speeches and noise allowing one while filtering out the other. Customizable ALD that amplifies sound non-uniformly over the hearing spectrum according to the client’s audiogram to compensate for frequency dependent hearing deficiencies is proposed. An analog system has been developed using ANADIGMTM synthesis tool for FPAA (Field Programmable Analog Arrays) device. An innovative technique that can be used to screen hearing impaired people to enable the easier fitting of listening device has been investigated. This proposed technique is easy to handle and can be used as a clinical or research tool. This work also covers the development of mold and ear fitment using biocompatible PDMS ((C2H6OSi)n-Polydimethylsiloxane) polymer .

Keywords Hearing Listening Devices, FPAA, PDMS Based Fitment Introduction Life expectancy is continuously increasing due to advancement in medical field, but hearing loss due to aging has been one of the most common problem of the mass1,2,3. Lots of confusions may arise due to hearing loss which motivates us to design assistive device .A variety of hearing assistive technologies are developed by researchers and recommended for whose hearing loss is moderate4. The era of low power, high-complexity electronics supports the implementation of ALD. The main objective is to provide the user with a listening experience through the device that resembles natural hearing of the sound information5,6. The ALD is a miniaturized device mounted in or around the ear to improve the hearing quality. The basic components comprises of speaker, microphone, FPAA based analog subsystem, interface unit and a battery. There are four styles of ALD like behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE), in the canal (ITC), and completely in the canal (CIC). There are many features available in state-of-the-art ALDs including volume control, wind- noise management, FM reception, Bluetooth® capabilities, directional microphone, moisture resistance, and ear mold venting7. It has been observed that traditional amplification devices does not provide enough aid to ensure natural listening8


In this paper, the rapid implementation of an analog subsystem that has two input channels for front and top microphones in multiplexed mode has been presented. The testing reports reveal the practical feasibility required to satisfy the client’s requirement. The customized design using FPAA makes alteration easier and quicker. In addition to this, fabrication process of ear fitment made up of polymer is also discussed in this work. In future, this work would be continued to embed digital processing module, bluetoothTM connectivity and inbuilt memory in the same capsule.

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