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Indian American boy invents affordable hearing aid

Mukund Venkatakrishnan, a 16-year-old Indian-American from Kentucky, US, has developed a low-cost hearing aid worth US$60.

Mukund came up with the idea after he found that it cost nearly US$2500 on doctors' appointments and a hearing aid for his own grandfather. He realized how difficult it must be for people in developing countries to afford such aids.

Mukund's hearing aid, which can be used with cheap headphones, is built to test hearing by playing sounds at seven different frequencies. Depending upon the nature of hearing loss, it programs itself by using volumes based on results.

The device takes away the need for several visits to the doctor and can be bought at a much lower price as the processor used for amplifying volume is one third the cost of what is available in the market.

Mukund worked in the device for two years and recently won first place at the Kentucky State Science and Engineering Fair. Various foundations are reaching out to Mukund to help mass produce and distribute it.

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