By 2050

an estimated 2.5 billion individuals will experience hearing loss, 
contributing to an annual worldwide cost of approximately $1 trillion. 

Untreated hearing loss, especially in the elderly population, leads to the possibility of social isolation, cognitive decline, and even memory disorders. 

[References 1-2]

Projected increase in prevalence of moderate and higher grade of hearing loss, 2019–2050:​​

80% will not be diagnosed

Healthcare systems and processes are not equipped to screen and 
diagnose the growing population affected by hearing loss effectively, 
and despite the increasing number of modern self-testing platforms, 
clinically valid and actionable self-administered solutions are still unavailable. 

[References 3-4]

To solve this problem, early identification of hearing loss and ear diseases is the key to effective
treatment and appropriate interventions may also reduce the burden of functional decline associated with hearing loss. 

[References 1, 5, 6]

Otoscreen project

Our story began during the Biodesign Finland program when Wycliffe and Tanja were at an ENT hospital in Helsinki looking for unmet needs that have a significant impact if solved.  A month of deep immersion into clinical workflows, engaging discussions, interviews, and keen observations revealed a staggering 700 unmet needs. Upon thorough research and analysis, one need stood out as the most critical to address: 
the resource-heavy and slow 

hearing diagnosis process in the ENT practice.

 

The Otoscreen concept is inspired by Helsinki University Hospital’s Adj. Prof. Saku Sinkkonen, Ph.D. Ville Sivonen, and their colleagues. Their extensive clinical work and research on hearing-related issues and the diagnosis of hearing loss became the guiding force behind the concept.


We have a global mentoring team that consists of clinical and industry experts supporting us to achieve our goals and improve hearing healthcare worldwide.


The project is funded by Business Finland and Aalto University.


Our Solution

We are developing a new clinically valid solution for public and private healthcare providers. 


Our solution makes hearing screening more effective facilitating clinicians to diagnose and refer multiple hearing loss patients in a resource and time-efficient way. This enables early identification of people who will benefit from hearing health assessment and guiding or referring them to the relevant treatment path. This streamlined process will create cost savings and enable better resource allocation to the healthcare sector. 


Our Mission

We are on a mission to revolutionize hearing screening for all enabling, early detection and intervention for hearing loss through advanced technological approaches. 

We strive to create a world where everyone can enjoy improved hearing health.

Our Solution

We are developing a new clinically valid solution for public and private healthcare providers. 

Our solution makes hearing screening more effective facilitating clinicians to diagnose and refer multiple hearing loss patients in a resource and time-efficient way. This enables early identification of people who will benefit from hearing health assessment and guiding or referring them to the relevant treatment path. This streamlined process will create cost savings and enable better resource allocation to the healthcare sector. 

Our Mission

We are on a mission to revolutionize hearing screening for all enabling, early detection and intervention for hearing loss through advanced technological approaches. 

We strive to create a world where everyone can enjoy improved hearing health.



Our Timeline

12/2023

Technology advancement

Investigational device ready for Clinical Investigations.

06/2023

Otoscreen R2B project

The Otoscreen project started at Aalto University.

05/2023

IPR

Provisional patent filed.

04/2023

Funding

Business Finland Research to Business (R2B) funding secured (~700,000 €).

01/2023

Member of the SPARK Finland program

Accepted to the SPARK Finland mentoring program with the 'Otoscreen' concept. Batch: Spring 2023.

2022

Team creation and PoC

Team Otos formation and the design of the 'Otoscreen' concept.

The unmet need identification

Biodesign Finland immersion at Ear, Nose, and Throat Diseases unit in Surgical Hospital (HUS Helsinki University Hospital, Finland).

2013-2022

Research background

Research on hearing-related problems and diagnosis of hearing loss by Adj. Prof. Saku Sinkkonen, Ph.D. Ville Sivonen and their colleagues.

1. WHO. 2021. World Report on Hearing. World Health Organization.
2.
 Yli-Pohja, Päivi, and Pajo Kati. 2018. “Kuulovian yhteys kognition heikentymiseen.”
3. McKee, Michael et al. 2022. “Reframing Our Health Care System for Patients With Hearing Loss.”
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 65(10): 3633–45.
4. Paglialonga, Alessia et al. 2018. “EHealth and the Hearing Aid Adult Patient Journey: A State-of-the-Art
Review.” BioMedical Engineering OnLine 17(1): 101.
5. Feltner, Cynthia et al. 2021. Screening for Hearing Loss in Older Adults: An Evidence Review for the
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
(US).

6. Loughrey, David G. et al. 2018. “Association of Age-Related Hearing Loss With Cognitive Function,
Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” JAMA
Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery 144(2): 115–26.
7
Kaf, Wafaa A. et al. 2013. “Optimizing Otoscopy Competency in Audiology Students through
Supplementary Otoscopy Training.” Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 24(9): 859–66.

8. Sinkkonen, Saku T., Aarnisalo, Antti A., and Jero, Jussi. 2014. “Tärykalvoreikä.” DUODECIM 130(8).
9. Tötterman, Magnus, Jukarainen, Sakari, Sinkkonen, Saku T., and Klockars, Tuomas. 2020. “A
Comparison of Four Digital Otoscopes in a Teleconsultation Setting.” The Laryngoscope 130(6):
1572–76.
10. Mustonen, Tuuli et al. 2021. “Hearing Problems in Patients with Hereditary Gelsolin Amyloidosis.”
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 16(1): 448