In 2011, following a successful career in media, Carolyn set her sights on improving access to children’s hearing screening. Securing funding from the NSW government and in collaboration with the National Acoustic Laboratories, the research arm of Australian Hearing, Carolyn established Sound Scouts - a digital, game-based solution to detect hearing loss in children.
Background: Children across Australia have their hearing tested at birth but the newborn hearing screening test only detects moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss. Children found to have hearing loss at birth thankfully receive treatment and support to address their hearing issues. Unfortunately, many forms of hearing issues can develop in the years after birth. Illness, injury and genetics can cause a child to develop debilitating hearing issues that if left untreated can have a profound impact on their life. Consequently, more children are first fitted with hearing aids during the first three years of school than are fitted in the first year of life (as evidence by data from Australian Hearing).
In an effort to address the significant number of children starting school with undetected hearing loss, Sound Scouts, in collaboration with the National Acoustic Laboratories (the research arm of Australian Hearing) developed the Sound Scouts App. The Sound Scouts App is a mobile application that reliably screens a child for hearing issues. Hearing science has been incorporated into a game based test that ensures the children remain engaged throughout the testing process, delivering rich, reliable data. The game incorporates patent pending technology – specifically the combination of different types of hearing tests to increase test sensitivity and enable, in most cases, different types of hearing problems to be differentiated from each other.
Carolyn has transformed the hearing health space in Australia with her innovative product and her passion for ensuring no child in Australia falls behind due to undetected hearing loss, which can cause both academic and social disadvantage.
Margot Andersen CEO and Founder of Insync Network Group and Owner & Managing Director of Talentinsight