Susan Scollie named 2015 Innovator of the Year


Susan Scollie has been awarded the 2015 Innovator of the Year title by WORLDiscoveries, for her work with the Desired Sensation Level fitting method.

The inaugural WORLDiscoveries Vanguard Awards were recently launched by the technology transfer and business development office for Western, Lawson Health Research Institute and Robarts Research Institute. Scollie is a Communications Sciences and Disorders professor at Western University’s National Centre for Audiology in Ontario, Canada.

Scollie began working a number of years ago with Western professor emeritus Richard Seewald, employing the Desired Sensation Level (DSL) method. Originally developed by Seewald, this software, in conjunction with a standard hearing test, helps create a personalized hearing aid fit in infants and young children, as well as adults.

“People needed a good solution developed for fitting hearing aids on babies. We worked hard on that. It didn’t feel like pressure; it just needed to be done,” said Scollie, who leads the Child Amplification Laboratory Team.

The DSL approach provides much more detailed information than standard hearing tests.

“It’s not the physical hearing aids but the settings inside of them – setting them to be the right range for an individual is very important,” Scollie said. “You don’t know until you make all your measurements what that will be. I make measurements that are unique to you and carry those through DSL to the hearing aid.

“We focus on combining not just the test of your hearing, but also a specific measurement of your ear acoustics so those two things can be combined in a careful way.”

The Vanguard awards recognize local researchers, who, through partnership with WORLDiscoveries, have achieved various market-readiness milestones. Other researchers were acknowledged for their first innovation disclosure, first patent issued and first agreement signed.

While an individual name may be on the award, Scollie said this is far from a solo project.

“You don’t have a product like this with just one person. This is an amazing and an incredibly special place to work,” she said. “This field is not stagnant; there is always something new. There has never been any time when we have said we were bored with this or there’s nothing new coming along. That conversation never happens around here.”

Source: Western News