BACKGROUND: Hearing Aids amplify sounds at certain frequencies to help patients, who have hearing loss, to improve the quality of life. Variables affecting hearing improvement include the characteristics of the patients' hearing loss, the characteristics of the hearing aids, and the characteristics of the frequencies. Although the two former characteristics have been studied, there are only limited studies predicting hearing gain, after wearing Hearing Aids, with utilizing all three characteristics. Therefore, we propose a new machine learning algorithm that can present the degree of hearing improvement expected from the wearing of hearing aids.
METHODS: The proposed algorithm consists of cascade structure, recurrent structure and deep network structure. For cascade structure, it reflects correlations between frequency bands. For recurrent structure, output variables in one particular network of frequency bands are reused as input variables for other networks. Furthermore, it is of deep network structure with many hidden layers. We denote such networks as cascade recurring deep network where training consists of two phases: cascade phase and tuning phase.
RESULTS: When applied to medical records of 2,182 patients treated for hearing loss, the proposed algorithm reduced the error rate by 58% from the other neural networks.
CONCLUSIONS: The proposed algorithm is a novel algorithm that can be utilized for signal or sequential data. Clinically, the proposed algorithm can serve as a medical assistance tool that fulfill the patients' satisfaction.
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