Indian American high school student from Louisville, Kentucky, Mukund Venkatakrishnan, has created a device to test and amplify hearing for only $60, which is significantly less than the the typical hearing aid that costs anywhere from $1500 to $3500 per unit. He worked on the device for two years and recently won first place at Kentucky State Science and Engineering Fair for his innovative creation. Venkatakrishnan’s device is unique because it not only tests a person’s hearing with a series of beeps, but it also programs itself to be a hearing aid by amplifying volume based on the test results.
There are approximately 360 million people around the world who suffer from hearing loss. “In India, the median household income is $616 a year,”. “If someone in India saves all year without spending a penny, they still can’t afford a hearing aid.” Mukund was inspired to invent the aid during his visit to his grandparents in India two years ago. He was tasked with helping his grandfather get tested and fitted for a hearing aid. It was hard to find an audiologist and took a long time, and once they did find one, they were charged much more than the average person makes in a year in India. After that lengthy and costly process he became determined to find an alternative. Mukund will visit his grandfather in Bangalore this summer and deliver the hearing aid himself. In the words of Galileo Galilei, passion is the genesis of genius! To excel at anything, you must be passionate about it! 👐🏻