According to the latest national census, China has about 20 million people with hearing and speech disabilities. Along with pure tone audiometry, speech audiometry is the most common and important means of testing in audiology. It not only provides information on patients' sensitivity to speech, but also evaluates their abilities to detect, identify, recognize and understand speech.
In 2015, Bosch China officially launched the world's first standardized Chinese language speech audiometric system - the Bosch Chinese Speech Audiometric System - in Beijing. The system is designed and developed as speech testing software that features computer-assisted Mandarin.
It can assess the hearing abilities of people in the normal range for special occupational requirements, such as vehicle drivers, pilots or call center operators, and also assess those with impaired hearing. The system can also be used to evaluate the clinical effect of medical devices such as cochlear implants and hearing aids as well as the speech rehabilitation of those with impaired hearing.
With support from the PLA General Hospital, Tsinghua University and the Beijing Hearing Society, the launch of the system is expected to drive the development of the Chinese audiology sector to adapt to international standards of speech audiometry.
Based on existing technologies and their practical applications, Bosch is committed to developing and incubating more intelligent products to meet the diverse needs of different users, and to pave the way to experience the company's ethos "invented for life" followed by "beauty of life".
A new service incubator in China is such a startup from Bosch. Every year, Bosch plans to invest about 5 million euros ($5.74 million) as an internal venture capital fund to encourage self-owned and creative science projects.
In addition, intensive support also goes to the cultivation of local young talented individuals, to build a young team with an average age of about 30. Up until now, multiple projects have been prepared for commercial purposes.
At the beginning of this year, Bosch (Shanghai) Hi-Tech Science Corporation was founded as the nursery for the latest product, the Chinese speech audiometric system. Several other medical products have become the company's main projects in the second half of this year.
The speech audiometric system combines the results of many years of scientific research from a team led by Professor Xi Xin from PLA General Hospital and a second team led by Professor Cai Lianhong from Tsinghua University, and has obtained certification from a variety of authorities.
At present, the system has been selected as one of the designated speech audiometric systems under The Guiding Principles of the Clinical Trial of Cochlear Implant System, by the State Food and Drug Administration. It is also recommended in The Working Guidance of Cochlear Implants, by the Chinese Medical Association. It has already been tested and verified by various national clinical centers, meeting the requirements of reliability and validity on clinical measurement tools.
The world's first Chinese speech audiometric system will help set industry standards and replace vague perceptions with accurate data. It's set to further boost Chinese clinical audiology in the global academic circle and applied areas.
This speech audiometric system is endowed with a series of functions such as user information management, pure tone audiograms, speech recognition ratio under quiet and noisy environments and speech perception threshold testing.
By means of information technology, the system provides 100 percent automatically managed procedures of speech audiometry for medical staff and researchers, thus improving both accuracy and efficiency. It will mainly be used in the evaluation of cochlear implant surgery, hearing and speech rehabilitation of people with impaired hearing, hearing aid fitting and clinical research.
The computer-assisted Mandarin Chinese testing software especially designed by Bosch for China has not only achieved a standard evaluation for Chinese language but is also in line with global hearing testing standards.