A research project investigating whether self-help videos could overcome the main barriers to hearing aid use has been shortlisted for a prestigious NHS award.
The HEAR IT study, being led by experts in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit, the Health and ELearning Media Group at The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Audiology Service, is a finalist in the Medipex NHS Innovation Awards 2013.
The project team is one of just five shortlisted in the category of Software and Telehealth and will find out whether they have been successful at an awards dinner and ceremony taking place on Thursday October 10.
Consultant clinical scientist Mel Ferguson, who leads the project team, said: “I’m delighted that our research has received recognition for this innovative approach to helping new hearing aid users. The research, the largest of its kind, showed the videos provide a range of benefits to users, including increased confidence, knowledge and practical skills. Users also find them enjoyable and highly useful, and so with such positive feedback my goal now is to make the videos available to all users and audiology services that want them.”
Hearing aids have the potential to transform the lives of those with permanent hearing loss, yet out of the 3 million people who have one, around 20% — 600,000 people — choose not to wear their device.
The HEAR IT research team has worked closely with around 35 hearing aid users in developing a suite of self-help videos designed for new hearing aid users. They focused on ensuring the videos were relevant, easy to understand and helpful to people getting used to wearing their new hearing aids.
The award nomination follows a £235,000 Research for Patient Benefit award from the NIHR and further NIHR funding to develop market-ready videos for launch to the wider audiology community and public by the end of the year.
It also comes less than a year after the team was crowned British Academy of Audiology Team of the Year 2012.
The Medipex NHS Innovation Awards and Showcase was created to identify individuals and teams working in the NHS whose ideas and inventions have directly led or could lead to improvements in patient care and which could potentially have widespread use across the health service.
Further information about the awards can be found on the Medipex website at http://www.medipex.co.uk/events/latest-events/
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The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk).