fhas

Functional Hearing Assessment System (FHAS)

Designed for command-and-control organisations

We are proud to introduce the first dedicated Speech-in-Noise (SiN) test designed for police forces and other blue-light services. Our dedicated SiN test has been developed in association with the ISVR (University of Southampton) and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), and has been incorporated into a Functional Hearing Assessment System (FHAS).

FHAS combines standard audiometric testing procedures, automated workflow management, and class-leading technology to deliver a bespoke and comprehensive hearing assessment system.

The full system

FHAS combines standard pure tone audiometry (computer / self-recording) along with automatic results categorisations including HSE, College of Policing, PULHHEEMS, in addition to the Speech-in-Noise test. Our FHAS builds on our reputation of delivering solutions for the occupational health industry which help them to save time and be more efficient - improving their capabilities to provide a better service to patients.

The system is ideal for safety critical health surveillance programmes and has been proven as a reliable and repeatable predictor of hearing ability in complex listening environments. It also enables users to differentiate between hearing ability levels for normal and hearing-impaired subjects.

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Key benefits

  • Objective and auditable, making it ideal for key decision making
  • Provides a potential reduction in medical referral costs
  • Minimises absence from work due to immediate functional hearing test results
  • Offers a fully automated test and referral system which improves accuracy when recording results and issuing appropriate guidance
  • Enables employers to meet hearing acuity and ability measurements according to relevant industry standards (Pre-placement, CoP, HSE, PULHHEEMS)
  • Operational expertise can be retained within the organisation, especially for experienced and highly trained officers

How does the Speech-in-Noise (SiN) test work?

As part of the FHAS, the Amplivox SiN test assesses hearing ability in environments that have been replicated from real-life situations that police officers and service personnel might operate in.  

This test establishes the quietest level at which a subject can repeatedly hear and understand a command in a complex listening environment. It consists of two parts which assess the effect of sensorineural hearing loss as well as auditory processing ability.

Commands are given within a relevant background noise through standard audiometric headphones, and the subject is required to enter their selection of variables through a visual display unit (VDU) such as a touchscreen tablet.

  • What are the benefits of a Speech-in-Noise (SiN) test?

    Speech-in-Noise (SiN) testing is considered a more accurate assessment of overall hearing ability in comparison to pure tone audiometry, which only assesses hearing acuity. SiN tests are used in many applications including hearing aid fitting, clinical diagnosis and measurement of functional capacity of the hearing system, providing clinicians and hearing care professionals with highly valuable information about the actual SiN understanding of the test subject.

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  • What makes our Speech-in-Noise (SiN) test different?

    Our Speech-in-Noise (SiN) test is based on a Coordinate Response Measure (CRM) test. This particular SiN test has been chosen because of its ability to represent many police requirements with a simple command structure, whilst delivering an objective and repeatable assessment.

    This SiN test assesses hearing alongside auditory processing performance within a variety of relevant background environments. It also assesses tests within a variety of communication formats, ensuring assessments are made based on complex listening environments which reflect real-life situations.

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  • Working in partnership

    Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR)   |   Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC)


    ISVR CNC

  • The Amplivox SiN test has been developed in partnership with the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR)  at the University of Southampton and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC).

    The team at ISVR have been working in the field of Auditory Fitness For Duty (AFFD) since 2012, with a focus on developing evidence-based tools that better predict hearing ability for safe and effective job performance. The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) is the armed police force in charge of protecting civil and nuclear sites and materials in England, Scotland and Wales.

    Working in partnership ensures the knowledge and expertise of the Amplivox team is combined with the latest technology and leading research to meet the operational requirements of the police force and other command and control organisations.

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the different types of Speech-in-Noise (SiN) test?

    Many different tests and tools exist to analyse and assess SiN ability, such as Hearing-in-Noise Test (HINT), Quick-Speech-in-Noise (QuickSiN), Words-in-Noise (WiN),  the Triple Digit Test (TDT) and the Coordinate Response Measure (CRM).

    The CRM test has been chosen to assess AFFD for the Police and other command-and-control type organisations because of its clear similarities to real world environments (high face validity), clear focus on auditory skills and ability to differentiate clearly between hearing abilities.

     

    How does a FHAS speech-in-noise test work?

    The FHAS test looks to establish the quietest level at which a subject can repeatedly hear and understand a command against a background noise. The test consists for two parts which assess different auditory performance but work in the same way of directing a command in background noise through a headphone in either ear.

    Both ears are tested separately but in an innovative interleaved procedure. The subject is required to enter their selection of variables through visual display unit (VDU), e.g. a touchscreen tablet.

    What is Quick-Speech-in-Noise (QuickSiN)?

    Quick-Speech-in-Noise (QuickSiN) is a Speech-in-Noise test that quickly and easily measures the ability to hear in noise. Speech understanding in noise cannot be reliably predicted from the pure tone audiogram or other standard audiometric tests.

  • What is a normal speech hearing test score?

    A normal speech hearing test score depends on the speech test performed. Each speech assessment is evaluated, and the normal score determined by multiple measurements with normal hearing test subjects. The audibility of speech material is impacted by factors such as language, words used (normal words or phonemes) and the spectrum of the background noise (noise or babble-noise).

    A normal Speech-in-Noise (SiN) test score depends on the type of test as well as the application of the test. SiN testing can for example be used in assessing the performance of hearing aids with scores defined by authorities and countries.

    The hearing assessment in noise test developed by Amplivox assesses SiN performance with a resulting signal-to-noise ratio specifically for police forces. The classification and definition of “normal” will depend on the role a subject may be working in and other considerations such as hearing aids that may be able to support a subject.

     

    What are the different types of functional hearing assessments?

    A functional hearing assessment is the measurement of a subject's ability to perform a given role is a standard procedure. Many different types of functional hearing assessments have been developed. Our Speech-in-Noise test that has been developed in conjunction with a university and police force and provides an additional tool that is objective and repeatable.