Children’s doctor that created new hearing device meets The Duke of York
PUBLISHED: 15:28 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:28 30 October 2019
A children’s doctor from Cambridgeshire showcased an innovative hearing device to The Duke of York that she created to help younsters.
Tamsin Holland Brown, who works for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, designed the product after her daughter experienced glue ear in 2014.
She met The Duke to showcase her work on his royal visit to Cambridge on Tuesday October 29.
Using Bluetooth technology, the headset can connect to a small microphone attached to the lapel of a parent or teacher enabling the child to hear everything being said.
Some children are unable to hear well while they have glue ear and this can in turn affect their speech, language, listening and learning abilities.
Dr Holland Brown said: "I wanted to find a solution for the many other children being affected by this common condition.
"In my own time, I set up the Hear Glue Ear research project and put together a cost-effective headset and microphone.
"The headset uses a bone conduction transducer which transmits sound as a vibration, through the cheekbones directly to the inner ear, missing out the ear drum and any glue ear."
Entrepreneurial advances in medical technology are of particular interest to The Duke, and a core focus of HRH's Pitch@Palace initiative, which supports work of entrepreneurs.
The headset can also connect to an app which was developed with Cambridge Digital Health and the Cambridge Hearing Trust.
It also provides parents access to reliable information about glue ear, speech and language therapy can be uploaded onto the app, and parents are also able to track their child's progress.
Tamsin's daughter Lilac - now aged 9 - is in no doubt that the headset helped her enormously.
She said: "Mum noticed that when I got a cold or an ear-ache I asked "what" some of the time and got words wrong," she said.
"It's hardest to hear when I'm in a crowded place and that is when I most liked to wear the headset. Now my glue ear has gone. I think my mum's an amazing doctor. To other children who have glue ear remember it's the glue ear that's difficult and not you."
Dr Holland Brown is now aiming for affordable headsets to be available for patients.
"The vision is for the headsets and apps to be available across the NHS as well as hospitals abroad who need more affordable solutions," she added.