The Union Ministry of Science and Technology has launched SOHUM, an indigenously developed low-cost hearing screening device for newborns.
The innovative medical device has been developed by the School of International Biodesign (SIB) startup Sohum Innovation Labs India Pvt Ltd under Department of Biotechnology (DBT) supported (SIB).
Features of SOHUM
The Sohum aims to make this battery-operated non-invasive screening device available across the country to minimise or reverse the hearing loss damage. It is a low cost portable device which uses brain-stem auditory evoked response, a best screening choice recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics and National Health Services of UK.
It measures auditory brain waves via three electrodes placed on the baby’s head. When stimulated, electrodes detect electrical responses generated by the brain’s auditory system. If there is no response, it indicates child cannot hear. Once it is detected at quite an early age, measures can be taken to prevent other problems such as impaired communication skills and even possible mental illness.
It is battery operated device and is non-invasive, it doesn’t require babies to be sedated, which is risky, testing in process at present. It has in-built algorithm that filters out ambient noise from the test signal. This is important because health clinics can be crowded and noisy.
School of International Biodesign
SIB is a flagship Program of the DBT aimed to develop innovative and affordable medical devices as per India’s unmet clinical needs and to train the next generation of medical technology innovators in India. It is implemented jointly at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and IIT Delhi in collaboration with International partners. Biotech Consortium India Limited manages techno-legal activities of the Program. It serves as a valuable contribution to the Make in India campaign of the Government.