Meetings and Workshops

HeAL 2018 conference, Cernobbio Lake Como Italy : June 7-9 2018

The HEAL 2018 conference is being organized at Cernobbio Lake Como, Italy in the period June 7 - 9 2018. The topics of the meeting are along the following (but not limited to)

Screening and Early Identification

Traditionally, Screening and Early Identification of Hearing Loss is a central theme of the Hearing Across the Lifespan (HEAL) conference. Also in 2018 this will be one of the main themes of the conference. It concerns screening across the lifespan from newborn to adult and elderly hearing screening. It also includes targeted screening such as at the workplace and with at-risk populations, the design and application of methods, techniques and devices for hearing screening, and policy issues as well as intervention and rehabilitation strategies following screening for hearing loss. The topic in this theme include:

  • Hearing screening across the lifespan: newborn, pre-school, school-age, adult and elderly screening; targeted screening (workplace, at-risk populations)
  • Screening methods, techniques, and devices
  • Audiological assessment: audiological test battery, evoked potentials, central and cognitive tests, medical imaging
  • Early Hearing Detection and Intervention programs: guiding principles, protocols and implementation, quality assurance
  • Hearing loss prevention
  • Clinical decision making and health policy issues
  • Development of hearing devices and instrumentation
  • Patient and family centered care
  • Hearing carer -patient communication
  • Family and carers empowerment
  • Outcome evaluation


Several Sessions of past HEAL Conferences have been dedicated to Intervention and Rehabilitation Strategies. At HEAL2018, themes and topics in this area are shortly described below:

  • Development of hearing devices and instrumentation
  • Cochlear implants
  • Implantable devices
  • Auditory training
  • Psychosocial approaches
  • e-health resources
  • Family and carers empowerment
  • Outcome evaluation


Hearing Loss: Mechanisms, Effects and Medical Issues are other basic areas usually widely covered by Keynotes and several communications or Special Sessions. Topics in these areas include (but are not limited to):

  • Basic research on hearing loss
  • Speech and language development
  • Maturation and plasticity
  • Causes of hearing loss: genetics, risk-factors and harmful agents, age-related hearing loss
  • Medical conditions, comorbidity, and syndromes
  • Cognitive decline
  • Binaural issues
  • Music and Hearing Loss
  • Impact of hearing disorders: communicative, psychological, social and family issues


In addition, at HEAL2018 particular focus will be placed on e-Health in Audiology, Listening Effort & Fatigue and Epidemiology of Hearing loss. Each of these themes are of emerging importance and innovations in each of these areas are developing rapidly. We would like to see further advances in each of these areas addressed at the next edition of HEAL in 2018. The themes and topics are shortly described below.


e-Health for Hearing Healthcare

Emergence of e-Health in Audiology indicates that the role of the Audiologist and the entire hearing healthcare pathway from diagnostics to the delivery of services and aftercare may change drastically. What is the state-of-the art in 2018?  Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Use of the internet for the interaction between healthcare providers and patients
  • E-Health for hearing self-testing
  • Self-fitting hearing aid amplification
  • Mobile Health (m-Health) for hearing screening & assessment
  • m-Health for Education & Information
  • m-Health for Intervention & Rehabilitation
  • m-Health for Assistive tools
  • m-Health for preventive purposes (e.g. Noise Induced HL)
  • e-treatment /e-rehab/e-training and effects: patients and professionals attitudes
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Safety and privacy issues related to the implementation of e-Health
  • Policy issues related to the implementation of e-Health
  • Assessment of quality, efficacy, and usability of apps for hearing healthcare
  • Big data analytics
  • Cognitive computing for better management of the hearing impaired


Listening effort and fatigue

While the number of labs using methods to assess listening effort is still increasing, many start to question how the outcomes of behavioral, subjective, and physiological measures relate to each other. Importantly, it is critical to evaluate how lab-based effort measures relate to or can be transferred to real-life settings and how measures of listening effort can be implemented in the evaluation and development of hearing rehabilitation techniques and clinical practice. Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Models and theories
  • Concepts and constructs: which method is measuring what?
  • Measuring effort and fatigue in ecological conditions or real-life settings
  • Task demands and listening effort
  • Listening effort and motivation
  • Listening effort and cognition
  • Listening effort, short-term (e.g. time-on-task) fatigue, long-term / daily-life fatigue and hearing loss
  • Listening effort and benefit from hearing aids and CIs


Epidemiology of hearing loss

Observational (longitudinal) studies focusing on the causes and effects of hearing loss and determinants of hearing health-related outcomes are scarce but highly valuable for the field of Audiology.

Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • (Predicting) change of hearing status over the lifespan
  • Causal pathways between hearing loss and cognitive decline/dementia
  • Hearing loss and the co-occurrence of chronic diseases -  hearing loss and psychosocial health
  • Sensory determinants of successful participation in society
  • Predictors of hearing help-seeking, hearing aid uptake, use, and satisfaction
  • Interaction between hearing, health, and environmental factors
  • Big Data analyses

 Additional information can be found at the HEAL 2018  website.