According to World Health Organization (WHO), over 5% of the world’s population comprising of 466 million people have disabling hearing loss, and by 2050, over 900 million people (1 in every 10 people) will have disabling hearing loss. Globally, hearing loss has been identified as the fifth leading cause of years lived with disability. Of the many causes of hearing impairment, middle ear infection is one of the important but preventable causes.
Medical experts recommend seeking immediate medical advice for any ear infections. These can be easily detected through a simple examination of the ears by a doctor using an oto-endoscope. With early screening and diagnosis, most diseases of the ear are curable either medically or surgically.
Medtronic & Shruti
Medtronic launched “Shruti” in July 2013 with a philosophy to create sustainable program of low-cost otology care including awareness, screening, diagnosis, and treatment to the underserved, particularly in densely populated, low-income urban settlements and rural areas by leveraging medical technology, telecommunication, and frugal innovation. It is a hallmark example of health system innovation, serving dual objects of social impact and business viability simultaneously.
With an ENT surgeon as the central point of care, the programs are operationalized through trained community health workers (CHW) equipped with an “Ear Screening Kit.” Patients with a positive provisional diagnosis are routed to the point of care for receiving low-cost treatment, including advanced diagnosis,medicines, audiometric tests and surgical interventions.
 Deafness and Hearing Loss .News Room; Fact Sheet Details; 2019. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss. Accessed March 1, 2020.
 Blazer, DG, Domnitz, S, Liverman, CT. Hearing health care for adults: priorities for improving access and affordability. Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults; Board on Health Sciences Policy; Health and Medicine Division; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. National Academies Press (US); 2016.