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London Tech Week

UK-based healthtech raises £1.1M to help conduct hearing tests in three minutes

Hearing Diagnostics team

Hearing Diagnostics, an Edinburgh-based healthtech company, has secured £1.1 million in funding. The investment round was led by Archangels, the world’s longest continually running angel investment syndicate, the funding will unlock the spatial hearing screening technology’s market potential.

Other investors in the investment round include Scottish Enterprise through its Scottish Co-Investment Fund.

To date, Archangels (that invested in Integrated Graphene, Earth Blox and PhysioMedics) has invested £1.8 million in Hearing Diagnostics technology, across two rounds of investment to support the development of Hearing Diagnostics and bring its product to market.

Female founder invention

Hearing Diagnostics is targeting expansion into the UK domestic market and the US markets through audiology retailers and high street optical chains that are increasingly building audiology capabilities. The company currently employs five people and intends to expand the team through this investment round.

Previously, the company used the funds to develop its Audimetroid screening technology and is now ready to take the product to market.

Dr Claudia Freigang, co-founder of Hearing Diagnostics and a winner at the Women’s Enterprise Scotland Awards 2022, said: “Hearing loss usually advances slowly and unnoticeably and has severe consequences if left unmanaged. Our mission is to make reliable hearing testing accessible outside of specialist clinics to drive the early diagnosis of hearing loss and to ensure positive patient outcomes.

Niki McKenzie, Joint Managing Director at Archangels, added: “Claudia and Colin have built a truly ground-breaking and disruptive technological platform to tackle a global health issue. Hearing Diagnostics market approach with manufacturers and retailers can transform diagnostic pathways. We understood the potential commercial opportunity early in the development phase and we’re pleased to continue our support into the next chapter of Hearing Diagnostics.

Novel hearing screening technology

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one in 20 people worldwide experiences some degree of hearing loss. On average, individuals with hearing loss leave their hearing loss unmanaged for 10 years, and in the UK alone, 86% of affected individuals do not receive care for their symptoms. Unmanaged hearing loss can have severe consequences including social isolation, cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia.

Hearing Diagnostics was established by Dr Claudia Freigang and Dr Colin Horne with a background in hearing research in 2017 to develop a novel hearing screening technology with the vision of changing lives for individuals with hearing loss by bringing about earlier management.

3-minutes test

Hearing Diagnostics’ hearing test is based on the patient wearing headphones fitted with a motion sensor and turning their head in response to random, multi-direction sounds. This test, when assessed using computational algorithms, has proved to be more accurate than existing test systems during pilot trials, and is also deemed to be more resilient to imagined sounds and background noise.

The test can also be administered successfully without a soundproof booth and by a shop assistant rather than a more highly paid audiologist, thereby increasing accessibility and reducing cost. Furthermore, the Hearing Diagnostics test takes three minutes compared to the 25-30 minutes it takes to carry out a conventional hearing test.

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