This year, more than three hundred innovative projects were submitted by young scientists to the Sikorsky Challenge startup competition, which took place at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute at the end of the summer within the framework of the X Festival of Innovative Projects "Sikorsky Challenge 2021: Ukraine and the World ". Among the 20 finalist projects presented by our university researchers, six received the highest marks from the jury. In particular, the project "Broadband Acoustic Ear Echo Spectrometer" won the nomination "Best Technological Solution of a Startup" in the section "Biomedical Engineering and Human Health".
A team of teachers, students, graduate students of the Department of Acoustic and Multimedia Electronic Systems of the Faculty of Electronics of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute worked on the development in a team: Serhii Naida - project manager, Yuriy Onikienko - technical implementation, Olexandr Drozdenko - technological implementation, Dmytro Parenyuk and Mykita Naida - solution development, Pavlo Popovych - marketing, finance.
The project proposes a new generation diagnostic device - an automated broadband acoustic ear echo spectrometer and a new effective program for universal hearing screening of newborns, which can be used in all maternity hospitals in Ukraine.
Such developments are very relevant. Healthcare facilities around the world need such devices. After all, the report of the World Health Organization dated March 2, 2021 predicts that every fourth inhabitant of the planet, which is 2.5 billion people, by 2050 may partially or completely lose their hearing.
The young researchers said: "Currently, the most common and accessible method of objective diagnosis of hearing is acoustic impedancemetry. This method has a significant disadvantage, which is that a large intersubjective discrepancy of the equivalent volume of the middle ear can cover the deviations from the average values that are characteristic of the norm and different types of pathologies. There is no quantitative objective parameter of the norm of the state of the middle ear system, a continuous signal is used to obtain tympanograms, and the measured value is averaged over time. This does not allow to change the equivalent volume of the middle ear in the process of rapid movements, such as swallowing, and in the process of slower effects, such as drug tests, ie in real time. In addition, the impedance meter uses a pneumatic system, which can damage the newborn's auditory system and prevents the device from being used directly in the maternity hospital. “
Different from impedancemetry is the acoustic ear echo spectrometer proposed by Kyiv Polytechnics, which can be used to implement in Ukraine an extremely relevant national program for hearing screening of newborns. Echo-spectrometer allows to diagnose and differentiate - the middle (the child should start using a hearing aid before 6 months of age) or the inner ear (the child should undergo cochlear implant surgery at the age of 12-18 months) - hearing impairment of newborns directly in the maternity hospital. Only then can ensure the normal speech development of children with hearing impairments, which account for 1-3 children per thousand newborns, outside of specialized institutions. But in most even economically developed countries, there are no national neonatal hearing screening programs using effective methods and techniques. They are also absent in Ukraine.
Innovation in the project is a new method of objective diagnostics of hearing, which consists of the observation of a pulsed sound signal reflected from the eardrum. The idea was realized with the help of a new generation diagnostic device - a broadband ear echo spectrometer. "Among the advantages of the proposed solution," said Professor Sergii Naida, "is the determination of individual quantitative parameters of the state of the auditory system, rather than qualitative, as in analogues, which completely prevents medical error. The absence of a closed volume of the external auditory canal between the acoustic probe and the eardrum allows you to more accurately determine the acoustic impedance in real time and differentiate the deviations of different parameters of the ear, eliminates the need for pneumatic system, which can damage the hearing aid. Therefore, it is possible to conduct hearing screening of newborns directly in maternity hospitals. “
The intellectual property of the project is protected by three patents of Ukraine: one patent for an invention and two for a utility model. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute is the owner of all patents.
To date, researchers have developed and experimentally investigated three variants of laboratory samples of the diagnostic device. The work of a laboratory sample of a broadband automated portable acoustic ear echo spectrometer based on a microcomputer was demonstrated at the festival stand.
Scientists hope that potential investors and the state will be interested in such an important development that will create experimental and industrial samples of new generation diagnostic audiological equipment, introduce them into industrial production and equip all maternity hospitals in Ukraine, kindergartens, schools and more.
Sikorsky Challenge 2021 Starts
The X Festival of Innovative Projects Sikorsky Challenge 2021: Ukraine and the World held panel discussions and presented investment projects of participants in the section Defense and Security.
The International Defense Investment Forum discussed strategically core problems and development of the defense industry of Ukraine. The participants presented dozens of their projects having practical significance for the Ukrainian army.
🏆 The Jury will announce the winners on August 14, 2021.