Mexico, Universidad Panamericana
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According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 466 millions persons in the world with disabling hearing loss and 432 million of these, are adults. Additionally, one-third of persons over 65 years are affected by disabling hearing loss. Unless action is taken, projections show that the number could rise to 630 million by 2030 and may be over 900 million in 2050. Hearing loss not only affects a persons’ personality, cognition, and hearing abilities, but it can also cause stress, irritability as well as frustration. When one loses the ability to hear, the gray matter atrophy in the auditory areas of the brain is accelerated. Hence, the auditory area of the brain no longer receives the nerve impulses from the sounds heard and cerebral high functionality ability is lost. Even with technology aiming at attacking this problem, like hearing devices and cochlear impacts, it is important to understand that hearing devices do not process sounds as speech, that happens in the brain. So if one's brain gets damaged by an undetected hearing loss condition, when given a hearing aid it is harder for the patient to adapt to their family, society and also themselves, and most times they end up dropping it off because “it does not work”. However, the problem is not the hearing device in itself, it is the lack of therapeutic aural treatment and misinformation about this subject. With this idea in mind, is how ‘Sentirech’ was born, a web application aimed at improving cognitive processes amongst adults with hearing devices or cochlear implants through aural rehabilitation exercises, progress statistics for the patient, direct contact with therapists and support for keeping the hearing device in the optimal conditions. We hold three value propositions that we are very confident about. First of all, in the design of the application, we included some Theory of Gamification concepts in order to engage patients and reach more potential users. It has been proven that not only does this approach improve cognitive processes but it also creates a personal engagement and therefore the therapy does not feel completely like it. Secondly, the activities can be accessed at any time and place a person wants, giving them more freedom to complete their treatment, since many adults sometimes report not having time to attend appointments. This does not mean that the therapist figure is omitted, since they can keep track of their patients progress and areas of opportunity and provide more help and insight. In the first stage of production, we developed the first activity which is called “Ling Six Sounds Test”. With this test, we can evaluate the perception of speech through sounds ranging from high frequencies to bass ones and locate the user at a certain level. For this, we used Azure Virtual Machine Service to install Apache and React Servers to host the application. Additionally, we incorporated Speech to Text Services to use sound detection for the first activities. Later on, we hope to incorporate Artificial Intelligence to design person-centered content. We aim to continue to improve our research in collaboration with research departments from universities and therapists around Mexico for now and later around the world. Sentirech can be used as a first encounter with hearing testing and if needed, a therapy platform to help not only those using hearing aids, but also therapists.
Our team comes from ‘Universidad Panamericana’ in Mexico City and looks forward to making the difference through the development of innovative solutions using modern technology. As Information Technology and Intelligent Systems Engineering Students, we, Gerardo Cortizo Macías, Mariana Gutiérrez Carreto and Alfonso Murillo Suárez complement each other's abilities and form a strong and collaborative team. Gerardo has abilities in Data Analysis and Exploration using Python and R. Additionally, he has a keen interest in Backend Development for Software Applications. Recently he participated in a Hackathon and was in the Top 10 projects. Mariana has experience in Full-Stack Development, and is passionate about subjects involving mental and physical health, as well as gender equality. She enjoys designing and is the creative gene of the team, in the future she wants to work developing software. Alfonso works as a first line responder providing world support to users of Rackspace, a company of computer management in the cloud. He is passionate about project management and wishes to keep improving his skills. Even though we study the same college careers, we complement each other’s talents and form a multidisciplinary group. Our adviser panel consists of Ms. Andrea Oviedo Villasana, Director of Animation and Video Games Engineering Career at Universidad Panamericana, Cofounder and CEO at Pixframe Studios and former national winner of Imagine Cup 2012. With her guidance and advice, we have been able to strategically plan our project and whatsmore, she has helped us greatly in networking with disability specialists. Ms. Ana Laura Loyola De La Luz, Audiologist, Language and Learning Therapist, and Teacher at Universidad de las Américas; who has been our medical insighter in the treatment of people with hearing disabilities. As a therapist, she realizes treatment plans, language, learning and speech therapies for kids and teenagers. Additionally, she has effective direct communication practices that help parents and teachers. As a team, we are all passionate about helping others through the development of new technologies. That is how ‘Sentirtech’ is born, a project whose main objective is helping people with hearing devices to improve cognitive skills and therefore improve their quality of life through technology. We believe that we have the passion, technique and are eager to learn and make the most out of this project. This way, we can show everyone that we can dream it, build it and most of all, do it. Thanks.
Technologies we are looking to use in our projects
App Services (Mobile & Web
User Behavior Analytics