Future Research on Therapeutic Methods for Loss of Hearing
Sengupta noted the study could have wide-ranging implications beyond the hearing loss population. For example, cancer patients, those with neurodegenerative diseases, and people with mental illnesses could all benefit from self-guided, at-home therapy.
“It is important to design technologies that allow people to take care of their health with their own hands,” Rebola said. “And in an indirect way, it’s kind of responding to the needs of having more equitable access to health and distributing and having the users have control of their health.”
The team is currently recruiting patients for the pilot study and plans to publish initial findings shortly after. Future studies may also analyze how patients respond to other therapies, such as completing art with tablets or interacting with more advanced robot pets.
“We’re designing things as ways of understanding,” Rebola said. “It’s something we don’t do much in the sciences. We’re learning through this iteration, having an impact, generating the second generation.”
The Jejurikar Fund for Vestibular Schwannoma Research and the Harold C. Schott Chair helped fund the study.
Final Thoughts on How AI Pets and Art Help Those With Hearing Loss
As science advances, new technologies and therapies emerge to improve patients’ health. Researchers have devised an art therapy app and given patients robotic therapy dogs to analyze how they impact patients with hearing loss. Hopefully, the study will succeed, and the team can move forward with treatment plans.