August 17, 2017 by Innovation for Africa - No Comments

Launched as a startup in 2015, the hearX Group was developed at the University of Pretoria by Prof De Wet Swanepoel and Dr Herman Myburgh in 2013. To date, the hearX Group has provided access to hearing healthcare to more than 70 000 people who would not normally have had this service, through our cost-effective, user-friendly smartphone technologies.  It has also raised just over US$2.8 million from international investors and funding grants over the last 16 months to help it expand internationally and build its product range.

The hearX Group offers the world’s first clinical smartphone hearing testing solutions with the aim to provide healthy hearing for everyone, everywhere. This has been done through developing smartphone technologies which enables a layperson to conduct hearing and vision tests remotely – only needing access to the screening device and mobile data. hearX Group has gone to market with several products since the launch of its flagship product hearScreen , an innovative mobile health application for clinically-valid, time-efficient, low-cost screening using pure tone audiometry. Following the tremendous success of the launch of hearScreen several other products were developed and launched soon after such as hearZA (Downloadable via the app stores), mHealth Studio, hearTest, hearDigits in addition to our partnered product in vision, PeekVision.

It has been proven that early detection followed by appropriate health care ensures optimal quality of life outcomes.

Smartphone health surveillance and monitoring has gained significant traction with an estimated 1.7 billion downloads expected by the end of 2017 and global revenues reaching $21.5 billion in 2018 (Economist, 2016). By employing a smartphone platform, hearX group provides an opportunity for early detection by end-users with the potential to inform and refer patients to their closest healthcare provider using SMS or e-mail add-on services.

According to hearX, their mHealth solutions are cheaper and faster than traditional methods and most importantly are mobile, allowing us to reach previously inaccessible areas and they believe that this can help change the face of preventative care across the continent.

South African based e-health startup, hearX Group, is planning to launch the world’s first smartphone otoscope, hearScope, on Indiegogo on August 1, 2017. An otoscope is an instrument designed for visual examination of the eardrum and the passage of the outer ear, typically having a light and a set of lenses.

According to hearX, “complications from middle ear infection (Otitis Media) are a leading cause of preventable hearing loss, affecting 330 million people globally. Ninety five percent of children will have an ear infection before the age of three and most of them will not have access to diagnosis or treatment. hearScope offers a swift and reliable solution that enables an accurate diagnosis every time.”

“Simply put, a high-quality variable magnification otoscope “pen” (a medical device which is used to look into ears) connects to a smartphone running the hearScope application. The result is a clear picture of the eardrum which can be used to accurately diagnose the problem. The images are as good as the sophisticated microscopes that ENT specialists use, making hearScope the ultimate diagnostic companion for healthcare providers.”

hearScope was first revealed at Africa Health 2017 and will now be launched globally on Indiegogo. With this campaign, hearX hopes to raise $15 000 to ensure this product is made available to all who need it around the world. They are also providing an opportunity for organisations and individuals to donate hearScopes to those who need it most.

“You can qualify for a discount of up to 35% for a hearScope when the IndieGoGo campaign goes live by signing up for this promotion via the landing page www.hearscope.io! We would like to invite you to be part of the exciting journey of creating access to ear and hearing healthcare by supporting this initiative.”

“Not only will you will be one of the first in the world to own the revolutionary hearScope, but you will also be making a meaningful social impact!  Our team of international experts, researchers and engineers has been hard at work over the past three years developing this incredible product. We now need your support to put hearScope into the hands of the world.”