Yang Ming GLORIA with the Focus on Artificial Intelligence, the Cheng Hsin General Hospital , Academia Sinica , & National Yang Ming University Cochlear Implant Team has been Honored with the National Startup Award Two Times in a Row
From right: Associate Research Fellow Yu Tsao of Academia Sinica, Assistant Professor Ying-Hui Lai of the Department of BioMedical Engineering, National Yang-Ming University, and Director Lieber Po-Hung Li of Cheng Hsin General Hospital. With the peerless design of a noise reduction system for cochlear implants, they have earned recognition from the national start-up award two years in a row.
The number of people with hearing loss is increasing according to WHO’s statistical data. When hearing aids cannot improve hearing effectively, cochlear implants will be another good hearing assistive device to choose from. However, background noise elimination is a challenge really needs to be overcome. Assistant Professor Ying-Hui Lai of the Department of BioMedical Engineering, National Yang-Ming University, Director Lieber Po-Hung Li of the Otolaryngology and Medical Center for Hearing Loss, Cheng Hsin General Hospital, and Associate Research Fellow Yu Tsao of the Research Center for Information Technology Innovation, Academia Sinica have established a team at Cheng Hsin General Hospital. With the Global Research & Industry Alliance (GLORIA) of National Yang-Ming University providing guidance, the team has focused on artificial intelligence and developed a model of noise reduction with context-awareness, which has been proven by the clinical trial results to show significant improvement in noise reduction.
With the topic “A thorough study on noise reduction improves cochlear implant users’ speech recognition discrimination,” this innovative technology has received the 15th and 16th national startup awards in a row, and earned recognition from the “World Invention Innovation Contest” in Korea, 2019 by receiving the gold medal and the special award. These awards are enough to make it the best representative of innovative cochlear implants being researched and developed using artificial intelligence in Taiwan.
From left: Associate Research Fellow Yu Tsao of Academia Sinica, Assistant Professor Ying-Hui Lai of the Department of BioMedical Engineering, National Yang-Ming University, and Director Lieber Po-Hung Li of Cheng Hsin General Hospital. With the peerless design of a noise reduction system for cochlear implants, they have earned recognition from the national start-up award two years in a row.
Cochlear implants can effectively help patients to understand languages when the surrounding environment is quiet, yet their effectiveness in a noisy environment needs further improvement. Over the past decades, noise reduction is a challenge that hearing assistive devices need to overcome. Once the environmental noise occurs, the effectiveness of cochlear implants will clearly be interfered and affected. For this reason, these researchers have studied with the basis on deep neural networks, bringing forward the idea of considering the features of sound scenarios for noise reduction, hence improving the hearing effectiveness of cochlear implants that are being used in a noisy environment.
The team has at present used their system as the front-end processing unit of cochlear implants through a mobile phone app. This app will probably be paired with other auditory processing or speech processing devices for use in the future, not just with cochlear implants. At the same time, the team has tried to use an AI auditory processing model as a hardware chip, in the hope of providing more endearing types of hearing assistive devices in the future.
The national startup award means a lot to biomedical researchers. A team being honored with this award two times in a row is the utmost recognition and encouragement given to them. The collaboration between Director Lieber Po-Hung Li, Professor Ying-Hui Lai, and Dr. Yu Tsao resulted in the successful integration of clinical medicine, medical engineering, and computer science and completion of this research. They showed their highest respect for the subjects and research partners who have participated in the project, and expressed their deepest appreciation to Yang-Ming GLORIA for their consistent provision of resources.
NYMU GLORIA has always been supporting and encouraging the team to merchandise the research outcomes. They hope to benefit more friends with hearing loss through assisting the Cheng Hsin General Hospital cochlear implant team.