Research project

WHISPER - Widespread Hearing Impairment Screening and PrEvention of Risk (DIT.AD009.118)

Thematic area

Engineering, ICT and technologies for energy and transportation

Project area

e-Health (DIT.AD009)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institute of Electronics, Computer and Telecommunication Engineering (IEIIT)

Project manager

Phone number: 0223993343


The digital health revolution, supported by ubiquitous connectivity, enables new ways of delivering decentralized audiological services using eHealth solutions. The area of eHealth in audiology holds promise to increase cost-efficiency and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. In the era of COVID 19 and in the 'new normal' after the pandemic, eHealth services are even more necessary for audiology patients, who are typically at the highest risk for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality due to their age. Individuals with hearing impairment are more likely to experience reduced access to in person audiological services and possible exacerbations of their hearing and communication difficulties due to social distancing measures, isolation, and related mental health issues. The current crisis has clearly demonstrated the need for a radical rethinking of audiological service delivery. Key health authorities such as the CDC and the WHO strongly lobby for ways to minimize physical contact between patients and healthcare providers.


Project WHISPER will develop and test the prototype of a novel, web-based system to support widespread screening and prevention of hearing impairment. It will be the first system to combine: (1) remote speech recognition testing using an automated, language-independent speech-in-noise test; (2) assessment of the risk factors for hearing impairment via a language-independent, icon-based interface, and (3) estimation of the individual risk of developing hearing impairment using explainable artificial intelligence (AI) models.

Start date of activity



eHealth, widespread screening, hearing impairment

Last update: 06/06/2023