Audeara Research Audiologist Dr Ian O’Brien this month joined global hearing health leaders at a 3-day World Health Organisation consultation in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Make Listening Safe stakeholder consultation brought together experts, policymakers, industry representatives and health professionals to discuss and collaborate on strategies to protect people from acquiring preventable hearing loss on a global scale.
Organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the consultation engages key global stakeholders to promote the adoption of existing WHO-ITU Standards of ‘Safe Listening Devices’ and ‘Safe Listening Venues and Events’.
Speaking alongside representatives from Sony and Apple on 8 June, Dr O’Brien shared his perspective on the importance of safe listening practices and the role of technology in protecting individuals’ hearing.
“Our mission at Audeara closely aligns with the goals of the WHO Make Listening Safe consultation, and it was an incredible experience to share our progress in personalised audio technology on such a highly-respected global platform,” Dr O’Brien said.
“It’s so vital that we, as a global community, address the potential risks associated with prolonged exposure to high sound levels and ensure the adoption of safe listening practices particularly within the music and gaming industries.”
Dr O’Brien is a professional musician, researcher, clinical audiologist and sound engineer with degrees in Music and Audiology. In addition to his role at Audeara, Dr O’Brien is also a Principal musician with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Director of Musician’s Ears, an audiology clinic dedicated to the hearing of performing artists.
Widely published in the field of orchestral musicians’ aural health, Dr O’Brien is best known for his work developing a groundbreaking hearing conservation strategy for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. A strategy that continues to protect the hearing of its musicians today and is now used as a template for hearing conservation in orchestras across the world.
WHO launched its Make Listening Safe initiative in 2015 in response to predictions that more than one billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices.