One in five people worldwide live with hearing loss, which is expected to rise to 1 in 4 people by 2050 according to the World Report on Hearing that was recently released by the World Health Organisation.
The Eisdell Moore Centre has a mission to reduce the impact of hearing and balance disability in New Zealand and the Pacific region and recently had the pleasure of collaborating with Uniservices to co-host a networking event at the School of Population Health.
Researchers from across the University and industry and government agency reps were invited to network with our researchers and learn more about hearing and balance and the opportunities for collaboration and innovation.
The evening kicked off with a wonderful reminder of the legacy of the Eisdell Moore Centre, by Chris Moore, the late Sir Patrick Eisdell Moore’s son. Sir Patrick was a prominent ENT in New Zealand who had a profound effect on the evolution of the ENT surgical specialty and treatment of ear disease and hearing loss in children and adults in New Zealand and the Centre is proudly named after him.
EMC Board member and supporter, Elena Keith, then led a panel discussion with Prof. Suzanne Purdy (Co-Deputy Chair EMC and Head of School of Psychology UoA), Dr Elizabeth (Pacific Research Advisor to EMC), Assoc. Professor Grant Searchfield (Co-Deputy Chair EMC), Professor Paul Smith (Vestibular expert at Otago University) and Dr Anisoara Nicol (Business Development Manager for Uniservices).
Our panel outlined the need for transdisciplinary research to tackle some of the big issues hearing and balance including dementia, tinnitus, balance and the development of accessible and coordinated services to address hearing care and hearing loss in our communities. They highlighted exciting opportunities for research in the near future, including trialling vestibular implants to treat balance disorders, the development of personalised approaches to address hearing loss and the development of technologies that will improve the accessibility of hearing and balance healthcare for all communities in the NZ and Pacific Region.
Andy Shenk, Uniservices CEO, closed the discussions with call to talk to at least 3 new people and it looked like the attendees took him up on that as the networking part of the evening commenced.
It was a pleasure to see so many people in a room discussing hearing and balance and collaboration across such a wide range of disciplines. By all accounts there was some great dialogue and we are looking forwards to seeing what bright and innovative new ideas come out of this event.