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Association of In-Ear Device with Communication Quality Across Individuals

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought back and forth challenges to the healthcare sectors, but the association of In-Ear Device with regular updates about individuals has done them the world of good. Poor communication while wearing respirators may have or possess fatal complications for patients, and no solution has been proposed to date.

To examine whether the use of an In-Ear communication device is associated with improved communication while wearing different personal protective equipment (N95 mask, half-face elastomeric respirator, and powered air-purifying respirator [PAPR]) in the operating room. The objective is clear but so should be the implementation, as it would resemble the actual prowess that the in-ear communication device has.

The initial quality improvement study was conducted in June 2020,  Surgical residents from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, were recruited. All of the participants enacting as patients had normal hearing and were fluent in English and had access to the operating rooms at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

All participants to test the efficiency performed the speech intelligibility tasks with and without the In-Ear communication device. Speech intelligibility was measured using a word recognition task (Modified Rhyme Test) and a sentence recognition task (AzBio Sentence Test). A total of 12 participants were included. AzBio sentence tests revealed that while wearing the N95 mask, the intelligibility efficiency was recorded at 98.8%.

While wearing the half-face electrometric respirator, the mean speech intelligibility was 58.5%, which became higher without the In-Ear Device and stood out at 90.8 percent.  Such a device might be feasible for protecting the health care workers in the operating room while allowing them to communicate safely, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic toll has hit several millions of doctors and health care workers across the world, and we would urge everyone to stay home and safe!

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