Project Lynx gains new advisor, Andrew McGrath, AuD
Students from MIT and the Rhode Island School of Design have been working on the challenge of helping children with hearing loss in the developing world as part of MIT’s Product Design and Development class. Named Project Lynx, the aim of this effort is to help Design that Matters and Solar Ear develop a hearing aid for children that is fun, comfortable, easy-to-use, and affordable for those living on $5 or less per day.
The team began the semester by holding a series of interviews with health care professionals and advocates who have extensive experience in the United States and in the developing world. In order to get a grasp of hearing loss and hearing aids, the students sought the professional help of Andrew McGrath, AuD, a clinical audiologist in Providence, RI.
In his role as the team's Clinical Advisor, Andrew explained different aspects of hearing loss including diseases and syndromes that are associated with hearing loss, the different types and degrees of hearing loss, and how hearing loss can progress over time. Andrew also spoke with the students about the different types of hearing aids currently on the market as well as some of the more important features of hearing aid design. Understanding the difference between programmable and non-programmable hearing aids, analog and digital hearing aids, digital sound processing, and directional microphones guided the team on how to proceed with their low-cost design solution.
Andrew has been a great help to the team and Design that Matters looks forward to working with him as Clinical Advisor to Project Lynx after the students have gone on to do other amazing things in the future.
Andrew is the director of the Department of Audiology at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, RI. He is on the faculty of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and is a former faculty member of the Yale University School of Medicine. A published author, some of Andrew’s specific areas of interest are newborn hearing assessment, management of hearing loss through the use of hearing aids, and assessment and management of dizziness and balance disorders.~~~
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