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Medtronic LABS launches ear-screening initiative for Uber drivers in India

Medtronic LABS, an independent entity supported by Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), 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 India. 

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.

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.

The screening will be conducted using an innovative ear screening kit called the ENTraview which is a custom designed smart otoscope designed by Medtronic LABS. 

The kit has been specifically built for field usage and the initial screening takes less than 2 minutes. 

A telemedicine application on the device enables one to capture and transmit patient ID, symptoms, images of the ear and preliminary diagnosis to a cloud server which can then be accessed by a clinician. 

Those who might need additional assessment for hearing loss are further assessed using additional applications. 

For those who might need clinical intervention, Medtronic LABS shall provide possible treatment pathways as may be applicable.