Overview

HeLPS is a powerful software tool designed for audiologists to help their clients and clients’ families make informed hearing-health choices. An easy-to-use interface enables interactive demonstrations of the communication difficulties caused by individual hearing losses and the improvements possible with custom-fit hearing aids or cochlear implants. High-quality audio-visual speech presentations clearly demonstrate the importance of lipreading, while control of hearing aid characteristics, background noise, and reverberation produce realistic simulations.

HeLPS is designed for a variety of uses by audiologists.
  • In pediatric audiology, HeLPS gives parents insight into their child’s hearing loss and the improvements possible with appropriate aid or implant options.
  • In adult aural rehabilitation, HeLPS provides hearing aid candidates with a preview of amplification and the options available with hearing aids.
  • In family counseling, HeLPS demonstrates to family members the communication difficulties faced by their loved one, the importance of lipreading and speaking clearly for assistance in communication, and the improvements that are possible with hearing aids or cochlear implants.
  • In hearing conservation and public education, HeLPS heightens awareness of the effects of hearing loss and thereby promotes careful listening habits and the use of hearing protection.
  • In professional education, HeLPS provides audiology and deaf-education students valuable insights that come from directly experiencing the disability with which they will work as clinicians and teachers.

The Hearing Journal published an article by Patrick M. Zurek and Joseph G. Desloge (of Sensimetrics Corporation) in its July 2007 issue entitled “Hearing loss and prosthesis simulation in audiology”.

Hearing Products Report has published an Industry Q&A piece with Patrick M. Zurek, President of Sensimetrics, on the release of HeLPS: The Hearing Loss and Prosthesis Simulator.  The article, in the September 2006 issue, is entitled “Understanding Hearing Loss through Simulation”.

Sensimetrics has created a brief video entitled “Preserving Your Hearing” that illustrates how HeLPS simulations can be used to demonstrate the consequences of damaged hearing. This video, which is geared towards an audience of young music listeners, is made available here as a public service to promote responsible listening habits.

Hardware Requirements

  • Intel Core 2 Duo (equivalent) or better
  • Microsoft Windows® 7/8/10
  • 2GB RAM
  • 300MB of available hard-disk space
  • 1024×768 monitor resolution or higher

Features

HeLPS Custom Hearing Loss

Custom Hearing Loss

Simulate any degree and pattern of hearing loss, with separate controls for air- and bone-conduction thresholds, and for left and right ears.

HeLPS Hearing Aid

Hearing Aids

Implement 3-channel hearing aids with gain and compression controls for each channel, and choice of directional or omnidirectional microphones.

HeLPS Tinnitus

Tinnitus

Select one of several common presets for tonal or noisy tinnitus , or create a custom tinnitus sound.

HeLPS Cochlear Implant

Cochlear Implant

Implement a vocoder simulation of a cochlear implant with 1 to 10 channels.

HeLPS Lipreading

Lipreading Demonstration

Show the benefit of lipreading using audio-visual recordings of talkers speaking everyday sentences.

HeLPS Noise

Effect of Noise

Introduce noise easily to demonstrate the severe effect that noise can have when combined with a hearing loss.

FAQ

Q. What is the difference between HeLPS v2 and I-HeLPS?

A. HeLPS (HeLPS v2) is a computer program that simulates hearing loss for sounds that are stored on the computer. The listener listens to the output of the simulation using ordinary headphones, or in some simulation conditions, loudspeakers. The audiologist controls the degree of HL, noise, tinnitus, hearing aids, etc that the simulation applies to the stored signals and then presentes to the listener.

I-HeLPS (Immersive HeLPS) is a system that provides HL simulation for sounds in the listener’s environment. It uses a specialized headset that is attached by a USB cable to a computer. The headset picks up ambient sound with its binaural microphones, processes those signals according to the HL, tinnitus, and hearing aids, etc specified by the audiologist, and delivers those processed signals from earphones inside the headset.

So the main difference in terms of HL simulation is that I-HeLPS has an extra degree of realism because it affects the listener’s auditory perception of all the familiar surrounding sounds. If you try to have a conversation with the listener, he or she will experience the difficulty very directly and it will have an immediate impact.

HeLPS is not interactive in that way since it applies the simulation to stored signals, not ambient ones. The simulation does not act on surrounding sound so a conversation with a simulated-loss listener is not possible. Still, it gets the points across clearly and effectively about the difficulty to be expected with a given degree of loss, the benefit of aids, etc.

Q. Does HeLPS v2 run on Windows® Vista or XP?

A. No. HeLPS v2 runs on Windows® 7/8/10 only.

Q. Is HeLPS v2 available for the Mac?

A. There is no native version of HeLPS currently available for the Mac, but it runs on Windows® 7/8/10 in both Bootcamp and Parallels.

Q. I’m attempting to import a .wav file with a sampling rate other than 44.1KHz. The User Guide states on page 18 that HeLPS v2 can handle any audio sampling rate. Am I doing something wrong?

A. No, you aren’t doing anything wrong. We incorrectly made that claim in the User Guide. We are sorry and we apologize profusely. We suggest using another audio software to convert your files to 44.1KHz prior to importing audio into HeLPS v2.

Q. How do I save processed audio from HeLPS v2?

A. HeLPS v2 creates a temporary .wav file named “temp_out.wav” containing the last used processed audio. This file can be copied from either the C:\Program Files (x86)\Sensimetrics\HeLPSv2 directory or the C:\Users\*USER NAME*\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Sensimetrics\HeLPSv2 (where *USER NAME* is your Windows® username) directory, depending on the version of Windows® you are using.

Q. Does HeLPS v2 come with headphones?

A. No. HeLPS v2 will work with a wide array of headphones. We recommend Sennheiser HD201 Lightweight Over-Ear Binaural Headphones.

Documentation

Please consult the following documents for important information about HeLPS:

 

HeLPS v2 User GuideHeLPS User Guide (PDF)