Embedding the patient voice in artificial intelligence for hearing care: the role of patient-reported outcomes

Authors: Sarah Hughes1, Samantha Cruz-Rivera2, Xiaoxuan Liu2, Alastair Denniston2, Melanie Calvert2 

1University of Birmingham

2National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre

Background Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming hearing healthcare, with benefits for patients, healthcare professionals, and healthcare systems. AI systems have the potential to deliver improved diagnostics and treatments and AI is already shaping the design of hearing devices and auditory implants.

Method A patient-reported outcome (PRO) is any report of a person’s health status reported directly by the individual, such as physical function or psychological well-being. PROs provide a first-hand account of the wider impacts of hearing loss and their use is well-established in audiology clinical practice and hearing research. Integrating PROs could support the humanisation of AI for hearing healthcare by helping to incorporate the patient voice alongside clinical data.

Results In this presentation, we will discuss the inclusion of PROs in AI healthcare systems and present a framework when considering PROs to support the function and evaluation of AI in hearing healthcare. We will describe a number of challenges to the incorporation of PROs in AI-driven hearing technologies and healthcare and propose a series of considerations aimed at promoting their inclusion, thus helping to ensure the patient’s voice is at the heart of technological innovation in the hearing sector.

Fig 1. Key considerations for embedding patient-reported outcomes in AI-driven hearing healthcare