The new ways to cure our ears

Special IRCAM Amplify forum 21 edition – chapter 5/5

Watch the replay of the 2021 forum

Speakers: Nawal Ouzren, CEO and Director –  Sensorion

There is an emergency, a public health issue about the sound. We notice a public awareness about the hearing health.

Nawal Ouzren, CEO and Director –  Sensorion

Here comes the sound:

Turn the volume down to ear better

The sound is becoming a real public health issue. That is true for tomorrow but also for today. A lot of public and private actors from health and tech are aware of that subject already. Around 2.5 millions of people are going to suffer from hearing problems in 2050, according to a report from the World Health Organization. For the children, 60% of the hearing deficiency can be prevented by public health efforts as the WHO says.

In that context, a lot of health and tech actors are invested today all around the world. Among them, Sensorion, a french innovating company, specialized in drug solutions to prevent or cure hearing loss. Another example of that global awareness : the french hearing institute was unveiled in february 2021 in Paris. The institute works with the Pasteur institute, very involved in hearing research. In France, actors are more and more active, such as the hearing institute, Sensorion.

How to cure our ears with pills

Cure our ears to dry our tears. The idea of Sensorion is to prevent hearing health but also to cure it, even hearing loss. They are already working on drugs able to cure the most serious ears and hearing injuries. “Tinnitus, hearing loss due to professional diseases… There are so many people suffering and we can help on that”, Nawal Ouzren, CEO and Director at Sensorion, says. “Today we are working on drugs which are already in clinical studies. One of our best products could cure sudden sensory-neural hearing loss. This injury affects most of the time policemen, militaries, musicians…”

It is really bad, people suddenly lose their hearing in 72 hours. Most of the time there is nothing we can do about it, but Sensorion wants to change that : “Our drug is now in clinical study. It’s basically a pill you can take until 28 days after the hearing trauma. Yes, ears can be cured by drugs, it’s not only a problem of mechanics !”

The sound as a vector of wellness

Being aware of our ear’s value is good. Preventing our hearing health is better. “We are living in a more and more noisy world. Acoustic traumas are getting more serious and often, it’s accelerating. Humans are not made to work 8 hours a day with headphones on their ears”; Nawal Ouzren says. How can we protect ourselves from that ? “The first effort is to prevent. We need to explain to the youngest how they can preserve their ears and why it is bad to listen to music too loud. We have to be careful with bad quality sounds and noises which can be our enemies.”

The sound can also be our friend. There are many ways to use the sound positively. “With the sound as with everything, there is a Yin and Yang balance. The sound is not only a problem we have to solve. A lot of therapeutics approaches are using sounds positively to help during the cure. For children and olders in hospitals, creating a sound atmosphere can help the healing and wellness. Listening to music can also be a very good idea. In that situation Sensorion is also good because we are preserving a good hearing.”

IRCAM Amplify technologies

At IRCAM Amplify, we are actively working on hearing wellness. MP3 compression and bad sound quality are damaging our ears, but why ? “When the sound quality is weak, some artefacts are appearing. The brain has to work more to reconstruct and understand the original sound message. For better convenience, we gave the habits to turn the sound up. This is how we damage our ears”, Frédéric Amadu, CTO at IRCAM Amplify, says. To counter this major problem, we are working today on 3D and high-quality sound. especially with data and artificial intelligence.

Our evolving solution, MetaSound QualityCheck

Our technology is able to automatically check the sound quality of a music file very fast (Clics, Glitches, loss mp3 ↔︎ wav, saturation…). We work with some Majors for example. Our MetaSound solution can qualify music catalogues of millions of music files, using machine learning. And promote them better.

A concrete application for Audirvāna

Watch more achievements

Audirvāna is a high quality music reading software (PC and Mac). It proposes to the users to listen to music in very good conditions. The idea is to optimize the computer and make the users in the best possible conditions for his listening experience. We want them to believe that they are in a real live music event. “The IRCAM Amplify technology embedded in Audirvāna analyzes the quality of the music files. It can say if one piece is high-quality, CD quality or mp3. We are truly looking into each files to know it’s quality”, Frédéric Amadu says.

Contact us to learn more about these technologies.

Want to learn more about the power of sound in health?

Watch the Forum on the Power of Sound in Industry 2022, to better understand the new uses of audio for a shared world.

Not that hidden figure…

recognize that daily sounds have an effect on their mood.
OpnionWay Survey made for Ircam Amplify 2020

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