Approximately 4,000 infants are born each year with permanent hearing loss, making it one of the most common birth defects in the United States.

Identifying these infants early leads to improved interventional services and ultimately better speech and language development, academic achievement, and social and emotional development.

Photo courtesy of UC Davis Children’s Hospital

Up to 40% of infants who do not pass the newborn hearing screen are lost to follow-up and never receive a diagnostic evaluation. Tele-audiology technologies that provide remote hearing evaluations can help improve follow-up rates by making it easier for families to access services.

The Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program, established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has helped to reduce the average age at which children with hearing problems are identified from 2½ years to 2 months. However, up to 40% of infants who do not pass the newborn hearing screen are...

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