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Israeli Innovation: Noise Filter for Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The device allows the student to filter out background noise. Children with ADHD reported an improvement in their ability to concentrate.

An Israeli startup Nuancehear has developed a device that helps students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder  ADHD. The device filters background noise and focuses on hearing a teacher or lecturer.

A study done on the device among children with ADHD showed an improvement in listening ability, even when sitting in the back of the class.

The concept for the “Sound Selector” device inspired by the development of their previous device for the hearing impaired. Adopting the same technology, they now used it to focus on the sound and neutralize as much as possible background noises that particularly bother those suffering from ADHD.

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The device is connected to headphones and includes an array of eight microphones. Using an advanced algorithm, the device detects the direction from which each sound is coming. It also produces a gap of about 15 decibels between the main direction and the other directions from which sounds come. Thus, the user is not disconnected from the environment and hears what is happening around him and background noises are attenuated.

31 students with ADHD participated in a study conducted by Prof. Iris Manor, in cooperation with Clalit Health Services.

The students used the device for a period of one week during their studies and completed daily questionnaires about their performance in the classroom. The study examined their self-report before using the device compared to reporting while using the device.

The study to be published in the scientific community, but the initial results are encouraging. Students reported being more attentive to the teacher and having less difficulty focusing on and understanding the lesson when using the device.

According to the company, a significant improvement in the students’ ability to listen to the teacher in different noise situations in the class was observed. Students further reported that they needed at least repetitions of instructions when using the device.

“People are not always aware of the pain and damage to the self – image of a child with ADHD,” says Nuance CEO Uri Goren, whose family has a child on the autism spectrum who suffers from attention deficit disorder. We decided to develop the product after many inquiries, and in our opinion, this is a significant global breakthrough that already shows from the reactions in the field and from the research we conducted that it works. ”

“When we provide a cleaner sound over the noise, we help free up cognitive resources for communication and learning,” adds Tami Harel, a doctoral student, and clinician communication at Nuance. “Normally the student in the classroom has to use a lot of cognitive resources to separate the speech from the noise, and this comes at the expense of being able to understand what the teacher is saying, participating, or even writing at the same time.

Dr. Itai Gal, Ynet News



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