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TARANG, the Digital Programmable Hearing Aid

01 Nov 2017

As per Census India Report 2011, about 5.07 million of total disabled population in India are hearing impaired. Considering the large number of hearing impaired people Department of Information Technology (DIT), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), had funded Design and Development of Digital Programmable Hearing Aid (DPHA).

Under this project, Hardware Design Group of C-DAC, Thiruvananthapuram, has successfully designed and fabricated a million gate Application Specific IC, NAADA, in 130nm technology. Using this NAADA IC, both Body Worn and Behind the Ear type Hearing Aids TARANG, have been developed, with maximum 80 dB gain, covering hearing impaired patients with mild, moderate and profound hearing loss. Country wide field trials successfully carried out  in leading medical institutions and hospitals like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysore, Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Hearing Handicapped (AYJNIHH), Mumbai, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, Madras ENT Research Foundation (MERF), Chennai, Govt. Medical College, Calicut etc, under the guidance and supervision of professional audiologists and ENT specialists.

The features of ”TARANG”  Hearing Aid are as follows:

  • Programmable Gain, WDRC parameters and Filter configuration
  • Multi-channel signal processing
  • Mutiple Listening programs
  • Low Battery Beep
  • Audio indication for change of listening program
  • Optional Tele-coil support
  • Supports both linear and non-linear prescriptive procedures
  • Indigenously developed standard software and hardware interface to replace HI_PRO/NOAH Link

Technical Specifications

  • Frequency Range                   :200 Hz to 6000Hz
  • Maximum Gain                       :80 dB
  • Average OSPL 90                  :125 dB
  • Maximum SSPL                     :135 dB
  • HF Avg. Full-on Gain              :60 dB
  • Sampling Rate                        :20 kHz
  • ADC Resolution                      :16 bits
  • Battery Type (BW)                  :AAA Ni-MH
  • (BTE)                :Button Cell Zn Air

A software package, SHRUTHI with a Hardware Programming Interface module for programming  TARANG has also been developed. This provides the audiologist with the Graphical User Interface and database required to enter and store the client specific data, audiological data and hearing instrument data. This interface and the communication protocol is an indigenous development and hence a low-cost alternative to the other expensive programming solutions available in the market. The software also provides the audiologist an-easy-to-use platform to program/modify TARANG with the help of a computer and the hardware interface module. With the development of the complete ecosystem, it is very easy for the audiologist to program the Hearing Aid in the field itself.

The unique feature of this developmental effort is the full ecosystem developed by the C-DAC team right from the ASIC, the Hearing Aid, SHRUTHI software for programming the Hearing Aid as per the patient’s profile to the Hardware  Programming Interface module. A trained person can program the Hearing Aid in the field using his Computer if the patient’s audiogram is available.   BIS certification is taken for the Body Level Hearing Aid. Applied for BIS certification of BTE Hearing Aid.

Project has won National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, in 2012 instituted by the Department of Disability Affairs, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment , Government of India.

Current Status

Technology transferred to two parties

  1. Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation (Keltron)
  2. Best Hearing Solutions, New Delhi.

Hearing Aids Distributed/Sold

  • Body Level – 3500+ Nos.
  • Behind-the-Ear- 31000+ Nos. already supplied
  • Order for 70,000 nos. is currently being executed.

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