Sounds of Hope

Appears in the August 2021 issue.

Three out of every 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss, which can cause speech and learning problems as they grow and develop. Northern Illinois University assistant professor Mohammad Moghimi and his team in the school’s engineering department have received a $430,000 grant from a division of the National Institute of Health to develop a pediatric hearing aid to replace the invasive, cumbersome, and inconsistent options that exist today. “It is very rewarding to develop a novel technology that can address hearing loss in the early stage of life and avoid long-term consequences,” Moghimi says. The waterproof Band-Aid-like device he designed conducts sound through the skin to the temporal bone then to the cochlea, bypassing a child’s ear canal. It can be worn for days and will charge wirelessly overnight via a charging device under the child’s bedding.

Illustration by Kevin Sterjo