The technologies underlying Ultimate Kiosk’s solutions date back to the early 1980’s. This was when Errol Davis, a prominent audiologist, began the task of automating hearing testing as method of improving hearing triage by reducing the first stage of professional involvement. Hearing screening in early stages of audiology was often carried out by audiometric technicians to reduce costs. The Max System, a software driven audiometer producing pure tones coupled with extensive analytical and report capabilities represented a world first in automated testing. Developed during his tenure in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Toronto, The Toronto General Hospital, the Canadian Hearing Society, and Gulf Canada’s hearing conservation program, these entities became the source for validation of the data sets used in the embedded algorithms. It was later fully commercialized by Errol and his business partner Terry Mactaggart in industrial hearing conservation, medical, school, military and hearing instrument dispensary markets. By automating both the pure tone test and the classification of hearing by pattern and level using algorithms as well as providing estimates of accuracy allowed all those involved in hearing healthcare to be more effective in allocating resources while reducing costs and improving almost all aspects of hearing healthcare delivery.
From the outset, Errol and the development team improved the technologies and improved embedded data sets applying advanced artificial intelligence systems in the form of polynomials and confidence coefficients to hundreds of thousands of tests. Results have consistently proven to be accurate from audiological perspectives as a method of hearing triage. The systems gained FDA 510K clearance in 1991 and remains to this day the only fully automated audiometric technician capable of classifying audiograms using pattern and level recognition.
Recently, the intellectual property attached to these innovations was adapted and expanded for use by Ultimate Kiosk Inc., a growth company formed to address the problems faced by millions of people who despite their hearing loss remain untreated. Protocols were modified to speed up testing, assessment and reporting. The now unassisted self testing and assessment protocol employs user guided-touch technology, the internet, backend database, user and hardware support in order to drive a fully integrated network of kiosks, tablets and other all-in-one computer products. The datasets from an ever increasing population sample will only continue to improve the capabilities of the system and but also improve delivery and reduce costs. Placed in trusted locations like doctors’ offices, pharmacies and other high traffic areas, each applies a triage approach to those tested by providing accurate results, classifications based on both hearing pattern and level and recommendations about what next steps are appropriate as well as educational materials and linkages about hearing and hearing loss. Using the Internet and web based databases along with sophisticated backend support, the Kiosk is poised to empower the end user with information that in the past was only available through a complex network of medical, audiological and supply chain sources.