The Sohum solution
SOHUM is a highly proprietary, non-invasive, safe device to screen neonates for hearing impairment with high sensitivity and specificity and is specially designed for mass screening of neonates in resource constrained settings. The Sohum product and care cycle are designed so that the needs of all key stakeholders like parents, pediatrician, maternity homes and health care workers, are met. We envision sohum as a self-sufficient and sustainable business that works toward a large scale and critical social cause. The unique business model links the child directly to Sohum certified audiologists for further care.
This is an image of our design prototype. Sohum is comprised of 2 basic parts. One, is a base unit and the other is the unique, easy-to-place electrode system. Base unit is a hand held device, with a touch screen. It gives clear indication of the right placement of the headset (which contains the electrodes), and contact of the electrodes. The results can be clearly seen as Pass or Refer and can be printed. If the baby passes the test, the results are given to the family. If the baby needs further diagnosis and rehabilitation, the family is directed to nearby audiologists with the results for reference.
Sohum uses brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER or ABR) technology which is the gold standard in auditory testing and is recommended as the test of choice by the American Association of Pediatrics (US) and the National Health Services (NHS-UK). As of now, this technology is prohibitively expensive and inaccessible to the underserved populations. Sohum uses this in an innovative way with an easy-to-use interface to meet the needs of the system. In addition to this, the sensitivity and specificity is improved through our novel algorithm.
The care cycle
Urban scenario: Here they already have regular access to babies that need to be screened. So this Sohum can be purchased by the hospital, maternity home or audiologist. Rural scenario: To make Sohum accessible to the non-institutional births we engage local entrepreneurs who can use Sohum with minimum training. The local entrepreneur can conduct the screening of these children at government-run vaccination camps, screening camps at schools, or specific cultural/ regional gatherings.