Medtronic LABS, an independent entity supported by Medtronic (NYSE: MDT),today announced the launch of an ear-screening initiative for drivers on the Uber platform across India. The testing will be conducted under Shruti, a flagship program of Medtronic LABS in India that has emerged as the country’s largest outreach program in the domain of ear care.
According to the annual CPCB report (Central Pollution Control Board), almost 80% of the noise monitoring stations under the National Ambient Noise Monitoring Network (NANMN) reported higher than permissible limits of noise1. Further, industry reports have established that traffic and specifically honking are some of the leading contributors to the noise levels in various cities in India2. Given the prolonged exposure of drivers to such noise levels, they are particularly at risk of noise induced hearing loss, which is one of the most common workplace disorders among drivers. Such hearing loss can detrimentally impact an individual’s quality of life and employment. Noise exposure is also a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.3
The ear screenings will help assess the adverse impact of prolonged exposure to traffic noise for drivers, and identify cases that need further medical attention. By addressing an often ignored health concern, this initiative will increase awareness about noise induced hearing loss and will aim to bring corrective measures to impact drivers’ lives.
Dr A K Agarwal, President- Society for Sound Hearing 2030, Ex-Dean and Prof. of Excellence, Dept of ENT, MAMC said, “Early intervention can play a significant role in minimizing negative consequences of hearing loss. Community based solutions that combine tele-otology and tele-audiology can aid in timely intervention, especially for at-risk populations such as the drivers. This is indeed a groundbreaking partnership between Shruti and Uber. More such organizations should come together to spread the need for ear care.”