“Current Developments and New Directions in Pediatric Audiology” marked the 1st International Pediatric Conference in the Asia-Pacific region, providing the latest in pediatric audiology research and relevant clinical information. More than 550 hearing health professionals from more than 15 countries around the world attended the conference that took place in Shanghai on April 11-13.
The International Pediatric Conference “Current Developments and New Directions in Pediatric Audiology” marked the very successful first international pediatric conference in the Asia-Pacific region.
Sponsored by Phonak, the conference was chaired by Suzanne C Purdy (Ph.D.), Professor and Head, Speech Science, School of Psychology, The University of Auckland, New Zealand and Bradley McPherson, (Ph.D.), Professor in Audiology, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong.This event was supported locally by the China Chairperson, Xiangyang Hu, Doctor of Audiology, The head of CRRCDC, P.R.China.
Distinguished pediatric audiology experts on the speaker panel
The Committee had selected speakers from among the world’s most distinguished pediatric audiology experts as well as new investigators and clinicians.
Jace Wolfe, Ph.D. the director of Audiology at Hearts for Hearing Foundation in Oklahoma City, gave two separate talks focusing on optimizing outcomes for children who use hearing aids and maximizing listening abilities in the most challenging listening environments. Dr. Wolfe suggested that ‘good is the enemy of great’ and emphasized the consideration of advanced hearing technologies, like binaural processing and frequency lowering, to take children with hearing loss from ‘good’ outcomes to ‘great’ outcomes.
Teresa Y.C. Ching, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist at National Acoustic Laboratories in Australia, opened her talk with a powerful focus on Asia stating 148,300 babies are born with some level of hearing loss each year in China, emphasizing for many the impact and need for such information sharing events. She went on to discuss the Long-term Outcomes for Children with Hearing Loss (LOCHI) study, a longitudinal study with 460 pediatric participants with continued data collection. LOCHI has shown that the PEACH score can be a red flag for children falling behind. Results at 6 months post-fitting can be a significant predictor of progress at 5 years post-fitting.
Dr. Marlene Bagatto, Adjunct Research Professor at the University of Western Ontario discussed the development of the UWO Pediatric Amplification Monitoring Protocol. The PedAmp is a clinical approach to validating hearing aid fitting in infants and young children, ages 0-6 years, to understand better when children are not meeting communication milestones and to improve outcomes.
The conference ended with a final and spirited panel discussion focusing on case study presentations. During the session, participants passionately debated clinical ideas and opinions in a collegial environment, underscoring the ongoing devotion exhibited by those professionals around the word who help drive discovery and innovation in pediatric hearing healthcare.
“Asia is rapidly gaining importance not only in view of the pediatric market size, but also in terms of research and clinical advancement,” says Angela Pelosi, Head of Pediatrics at Phonak. “The high level of interest in the conference and the spirited discussions we have seen demonstrate the relevance of the field of pediatric audiology in Asia, and we are looking forward to future conferences sponsored by Phonak in the region.”