DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION IN A GROUP OF INDUSTRY WORKERS, OF AN APPLICATION FOR AUDIOMETRIC SCREENING: A SOLUTION FOR SOCIAL DISTANCE DURING COVID-19 EMERGENCY

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Emanuele Cannizzaro, Luigi Cirrincione, Fulvio Plescia, Caterina Ledda, Kelly Theodoridou, Francesco Martines, Raluca Emilia Moldovan, Venerando Rapisarda

In the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, companies and institutions all over the world are trying to find the best ways to reorganize their activity, minimizing the contagion risk among their employees, so as to protect their health and prevent internal SARS-COV-2 outbreaks. The recent development of new communication technologies, such as smartphones and tablets, has paved the way for the development and implementation of different applications. Starting with the above issues, in this study, we wanted to investigate the efficacy of iAudiometry application developed by our research team for the detection of deficits in the auditory system. Furthermore, we analyzed the precision in detecting ambient Sound Pressure Levels between 3 different types of headphones. To this aim we divided the study and development process into four main phases: the feasibility study; the development of a signal generation algorithm, calibration and evaluation of the ambient Sound Pressure Level (SPL) on different types of headphones, and; a comparative study between conventional audiometry and an app with related headphones. Finally, this study allowed us to differentiate the headphones tested into 3 different types: headphones suitable for professional screening; Bluetooth headphones suitable for professional screening, and; headphones with slight but statistically significant differences, not suitable for professional screening. Our App is able to easily reproduce a reliable audiometric screening, limiting the contact between patient and examiner.

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