Telethon Speech and Hearing student wins international invention award

Leon Dean won an international invention competition
Leon Dean won an international invention competition

A NINE-YEAR-OLD self described “Aussie deaf kid” told an Austrian hearing solution company about new technology that would assist him as part of an international competition, and won.

Leon Dean, a Telethon Speech and Hearing student, entered his invention idea in MED-EL’s annual global invention competition Ideas for Ears and, as part of the prize, will be flown to MED-EL’s headquarters in Austria later this year to meet the engineers and scientists behind the life-changing technology-changing technology that helps him hear.

His award winning entry involved a video and drawing of a Bluetooth watch that communicates with hearing implants and implements various custom settings, such as reducing wind noise when outdoors.

Features include a Device Locator app to help find lost processors easily and a Wakey Wakey function that activates a vibrating, flashing alarm to wake up with a setting that turns the cochlear volume up slowly over five minutes so users don’t experience sound shock.

“I came up with the idea from looking at Bluetooth watches and computer apps,” Leon said.

“I thought I could invent a watch that connects to hearing aids or cochlear implants.

“It would display apps that could be customised to each individual’s needs.

“This would make every day easier for people with hearing loss.”

MED-EL managing director Robyn Shakes flew in from Sydney to formally congratulate Leon at Telethon Speech and Hearing on March 7, joining family, teaching staff, a surgeon and clinicians who have supported Leon’s hearing journey.