Message from the Editor in Chief
Bluetooth (which turns 25 years old in May 2023) is not only a ghost’s favourite form of wireless transmission... actually, that’s Boootooth… but it may be coming to theatres soon.
One of the most common telephone calls I receive clinically is about a Bluetooth-related problem. It could be an intermittency issue, an unpairing problem, or anything in between. And interestingly, the phone calls come in at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon.
Our leadoff article is a Q and A where I sat down with Steve Armstrong of SoundsGood Labs. For those who don’t know Steve, he is an electrical engineer who worked for years at Gennum at a time when up to 90% of all hearing aids in the world had at least one Gennum IC chip. And Steve is one of only several honourary life members of the Canadian Academy of Audiology. Our discussion involves how Bluetooth works, the improvements made over the years, and a few remaining issues that still need to be worked out. First, hearing aid manufacturers should not be faulted for an intermittent Bluetooth signal – more often, it has nothing to do with a particular company’s implementation but has to do with the Bluetooth design itself. And our second article is about an upcoming new technology based on Bluetooth but, like a theatre FM, infrared, or a loop system, it is a “broadcast” approach only. Auracast™ is not quite ready for prime time … yet, but it may be in some larger venues beginning in the fall of 2023.
Other articles in this issue of CanadianAudiologist include a discussion of the use of air versus water with calorics in vestibular testing, an excellent review of real ear measurement by John Pumford, and, with thanks to Noise News International, a reprint of Walter Montano’s article on noise as a public concern. Walter points to a Canadian link in that Greenville Kleiser of Toronto first advocated for a “week of silence” as a reprieve from the daily din of the growing issue of urban noise.
As a result of Dr. Kathy Pichora-Fuller’s excellent cover article in the last issue, “Is hearing loss in older adults predictive of later development of dementia and does hearing care modify dementia risk,” we have asked Kathy to become a regular columnist at CanadianAudiologist.ca. Starting with this issue, we have a new column called “What’s new about getting older.” Kathy’s inaugural topic is “What about sex, gender, hearing, and aging?” Her lead-off article in the last issue of CanadianAudiologist is quickly being picked up as a necessary white paper for organizations worldwide who want to develop their own policies and position papers on the relationship between cognitive decline and hearing and whether screening tools can (or cannot) be effective.
Dr. Bob Harrison continues with part 2 of his column on audiology and the human genome, and Dr. Pam Millett reminds us that observation in schools is more important than we may have imagined and that input from educational audiologists is much more than just “tech support.” Finally, the Columns section is rounded out with insightful views from Gael Hannan and, in Quick Answers, from John Pumford about whether the REUR should be subtracted from REAR for non-occluding fittings… a topic that I personally don’t feel has been fully addressed.
Other than CanadianAudiologist, readers may want to take some time to look at the website for the Canadian Academy of Audiology at www.CanadianAudiology.ca where, among other things, well-researched policy papers on OTC hearing aids and on cognition can be found.
I wish you all a pleasant spring season, which should be here shortly regardless of what the groundhogs may say.
Marshall Chasin, AuD.,
Editor in Chief