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Hearing loss
13 August, 2014

Helping researchers reduce the impact of hearing loss

AARNet is enabling the communication and collaboration for an international consortium of research, clinical and industry organisations on a mission to improve hearing health.

AARNet is enabling communication and collaboration for the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre

The HEARing Cooperative Research Centre (HEARing CRC) is an international consortium of research, clinical and industry organisations on a mission to reduce the economic and health impacts of hearing loss.

Headquartered at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Audiology, Hearing and Speech Sciences, the HEARing CRC has a track record for innovation, including the development of technologies behind advances in cochlear implants and hearing aids. The CRC contributes to industrial, commercial and economic growth in Australia by identifying new commercial pathways for the latest hearing technologies and clinical practice.

The HEARing CRC is also developing new strategies and tools to create greater awareness of the impact of dangerous listening environments on hearing loss in order to change the behaviour of Australians. Hearing loss affects one in six Australians with a total financial cost to the economy estimated to be around $23 billion per annum.

Connectivity boosts collaboration

With members and collaborators located across Australia and around the world, access to AARNet's reliable information technology infrastructure and services, including video conferencing, is integral to the CRC's daily communications.

AARNet has enabled the development of key CRC initiatives, including:

  • a collaborative cloud environment for the development of online content for HEARnet. HEARnet is a website designed to increase the use of HEARing CRC research and create a greater understanding of how hearing loss can be prevented.
  • HEARLab™, a world-first device developed by the HEARing CRC that accurately measures a baby’s ability to hear the sounds of speech.

About HEARLab™

Developed by the National Acoustics Laboratory (the research division of HEARing CRC Core Member Australian Hearing), HEARLab™’s Aided Cortical Assessment (ACA) test measures the electrical activity that occurs in the auditory cortex when a sound is detected. This means that babies as well as adults, who are unable to respond verbally to test signals, can now be assessed.

HEARLab™ is becoming a valuable device for hearing health professionals enabling them to determine whether a baby is able to hear speech. Early detection of hearing loss and the type of hearing loss, in infants means that children receive hearing remediation and follow a normal pathway to language development and learning.

The device is now being rolled out nationally through the paediatric centres of HEARing CRC Core Member, Australian Hearing.