Journal of Computer Science

Personal Computer Based Clinical Programming Software for Auditory Prostheses

K. Rajakumar and P. Seetha Ramaiah

DOI : 10.3844/jcssp.2009.589.595

Journal of Computer Science

Volume 5, Issue 8

Pages 589-595

Abstract

Auditory Prostheses (AP) are widely used electronic devices for patients suffering with severe to profound senosorineural deafness by electrically stimulating the auditory nerve using an electrode array surgically placed in the inner ear. AP mainly contains external Body Worn Speech Processor (BWSP) and internal Implantable Receiver Stimulator (IRS). BWSP receives an external sound or speech and generates encoded speech data bits for transmission to IRS via radio frequency transcutaneous link for excitation of electrode array. After surgical placement electrode array in the inner ear, BWSP should be fine tuned to achieve the 80-100% speech reception abilities of patient by an audiologist. Problem statement: Basic objective of this research was to develop a simple personal computer based user friendly hardware and software interface to fine tune the BWSP to achieve the best possible speech reception abilities of each individual patient. Approach: Tuning process involved several tasks such as identifying the active electrode contacts, determination of detection and pain thresholds of each active electrode and loads these values into BWSP by reprogramming the BWSP. This study contracted with development of easy and simple user friendly hardware and software interface for audiologist to perform post operation tuning procedures. A microcontroller based impedance telemetry with bidirectional RF transceiver was developed as a hardware interface between PC and IRS. The clinical programming software was developed using VB.NET 2008 to perform the post-operative tuning procedures such as (i) impedance measurement, (ii) fitting to determine the threshold and comfort levels for each active electrodes and (iii) reprogramming the speech processor. Results: Simple hardware and software interfaces for audiologist were constructed and tested with laboratory model BWSP and IRS using simulated resistance electrode array. All the functional aspects were tested and results were enumerated. Conclusion: Clinical application software had been developed for AP used in postoperative fitting procedure used by the audiologists. Software is readily available for use after the laboratory model of BWSP and IRS are available as final product.

Copyright

© 2009 K. Rajakumar and P. Seetha Ramaiah. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.