Nuheara extends research into effectiveness of IQbuds for autistic children

Nuheara ASX NUH research IQbuds autistic children
A primary school child diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder) using Nuheara's IQbuds in the classroom.

Nuheara (ASX: NUH) has provided yet more confirmation regarding the efficacy of its proprietary IQbuds product, already being sold worldwide and was recently included in a multimillion-dollar government scheme.

In 2017, Nuheara reported $4.5 million in invoiced orders and has recently moved into the brick and mortar space as a means of raising awareness of its products and to increase sales revenues. Not stopping there, Nuheara has also initiated its move into the Japanese retail market courtesy of a deal with Value Trade at the end of May.

The medical device developer said that it has commissioned a study by the Centre for Auditory Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne, to determine whether the use of IQbuds by children with autism spectrum disorder improves their “sensory experience”.

If confirmed, the study would add yet more weight to the growing body of evidence to suggest Nuheara has developed an effective solution for the growing number of autistic children being diagnosed in Australia and in other developed countries around the world.

Today’s announced study supplements previous research done by the company, including the commissioning of a study by the Ear Science Institute Australia (ESIA) to determine whether the use of its IQbuds can improve listening performance for children with auditory processing disorder.

“This new study to be conducted by the University of Melbourne builds on the research we have commissioned with Ear Science Institute of Australia into children with auditory processing disorder. Further demonstrating that Nuheara is determined to have an evidence-based approach in the marketing of its products to a healthcare channel which is already demonstrating a positive anecdotal response,” said Justin Miller, CEO of Nuheara.

“We have seen first-hand the early anecdotal evidence which demonstrates the immediate responsive change in some children who have Autism when they are wearing IQbuds. The ability of the child wearing IQbuds to control background noise by utilising Nuheara’s proprietary SINC technology, is key to these results,” said Mr Miller.

Autism market growth

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how individuals relate to their environment as well as their social and cognitive functions.

According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism can cause both tangible and intangible communication and behavioural challenges and is increasingly common amongst children in the US. The CDC estimates that as many as one in every 59 school children are currently being diagnosed with autism – significantly higher compared to any time in human history.

Merely 15 years ago in 2003, the rate of autism was estimated to be around 1 in 166 compared to 1 in 59 today.

The CDC has also confirmed that Western countries tend to have higher incidences of autism compared to lower-developed countries that tend to experience much lower autism prevalence. This has raised fears that something within Western culture and modern living conditions are leading to the drastically higher autism rates being recorded in richer countries.

In response, government-sponsored agencies and laboratories have said that autism is simply being diagnosed more frequently and accurately in some countries more so than others, with the underlying cause for the large increases in autism diagnoses still not clearly understood by clinicians and researchers.

The CDC estimates that more than 5.5 million Americans are currently living with an autism spectrum disorder which equates to around 420,000 Australians given current population estimates.

“These new CDC findings demonstrate that while progress has been made on some fronts, there is still much work to do,” said Angela Geiger, president and CEO of Autism Speaks.

“They urgently warrant a significant increase in life-enhancing research and access to high-quality services for people with autism across the spectrum and throughout their lifespan,” she added.

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