NIRScap

DTU researchers listen to patients

Tuesday 19 Jan 21
|
by Tom Nervil

Contact

Torsten Dau
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 39 77

Facts

The creation of the centre was initiated by leading Chief Physician at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery & Audiology Mads Klokker in a new unique cross sector collaboration between The Capital region of Denmark, The faculty of health and medical sciences at Copenhagen University and DTU.

 

In order to become world-leading in the treatment of hearing and balance issues, Rigshospitalet has gathered facilities and expertise in the newly built north wing and among other initiatives started a collaboration with DTU Health Tech.

The budget for the realization of the Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Centre (ChBC) is of almost 130 MDKK over 10 years. A large part of this budget goes to building the centre, however, an even larger part has been earmarked for research.

This makes it possible to realize both postdoc and PhD projects where focus will be on making research even more application oriented. This is highly appreciated by Professor Torsten Dau from DTU Health Tech.

“This means a lot to us, because we will get even closer to clinical research – and the clinics tell us how much they value having our background in technology and research even closer”, Torsten Dau says.

Strengthened research within hearing and balance issues
Denmark is already leading when it comes to overcoming hearing problems. By collaborating in the Hearing and Balance Centre at Rigshospitalet, leading scientists within the field become part of the clinical environment, in the expectation that this collaboration may develop solutions for the future.
“When researchers at DTU learn more about how the human ear works and how it may be improved, it also gives doctors new possibilities and this in turn will help the end users, i.e. the patients”, Torsten Dau says.

A number of research projects has already been initiated and more will follow. One of the projects investigates children’s perception of speech by using a new non-invasive scanning device called functional near infra-red spectroscopy (fNIRS). By sending and receiving near infra-red light through optical sensors attached to a hood on the head, researchers are able to measure the strength of the brain’s reaction to the sound of speech. Furthermore compared to other measurements, this method has the advantage that the child does not need to sit still or indeed be awake while the brain activity is measured.

"When researchers at DTU learn more about how the human ear works and how it may be improved, it also gives doctors new possibilities and this in turn will help the end users, i.e. the patients"
Professor Torsten Dau

With the projects, researchers seek to improve the current diagnostic procedures and optimize hearing habilitation with hearing aids.

Researchers moving in
The inauguration of the centre has been delayed because of corona measurement but now the Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Centre (CHBC) is a reality and the research collaboration with Hearing Systems DTU is well under way.

“With the creation of the hearing/Balance Centre and the privilege to collaborate with an international group of DTU researchers, a unique opportunity has been created to emphasize a Danish collaboration between medical and engineering knowhow to the benefit of patients”, says Mads Klokker, Leading Chief Physician at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery & Audiology. 

The Centre for Hearing and Balance is part of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and Audiology at Rigshospitalet and the research collaboration between Hearing Systems DTU and the department is well under way in the north wing where the researchers are primarily based.


Photo from nirx.com by M. Henry

 

Funding

The William Demant Foundation has donated 30 MDKK to the establishment of the centre and 10 to WD related research.

The ØNH-department has given 30 MDKK (over 10 years) to research.
The Capital Region of Denmark has given 30 MDKK and 18 MDKK to the establishment of the center.
DTU has given 5 MDKK for now and plan to contribute 5 MDKK for the research.

 

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