The University of Pretoria's research faculty has invented a smart phone application named "HearZA" for hearing testing.
The smart phone app launch coincides with World Hearing Day celebrations on March 3.
Leading researcher Professor De Wet Swanepoel says the application device which is free to download will be available nationally on both Andriod and IOS mobile phone operating systems.
He says the innovation was motivated by the number of people suffering from permanent hearing loss. Swanepoel says the application also provides health practitioner advice to users.
We also link you with your closest hearing health care provider
"HearZA is a smart phone application that will be downloadable on IOS and Andriod smart phones. It is the national hearing test and we developed it so that it is a free download to take this test at home with your earphone or headset to determine what your hearing status is actually."
He adds, "Because we are using a smart phone it allows all kinds of very useful features, for example what we also worked into the application is that it is not just a test tool to determine if you have a hearing problems, we also link you with your closest hearing health care provider."
Unidentified hearing loss has far reaching consequences, including communication difficulties, less energy, and a higher risk of depression and dementia.
The South African Association of Audiologists and Speech Language and Hearing Association have partnered with hearZA to build a national referral network.
In support of World Hearing Day, the first 18 persons identified with a disabling hearing loss using the hearZA App will receive a sponsored audiological evaluation at a registered provider, as well as hearing aids if needed.