What? New iPhone app tests your hearing for under a dollar

With the constant noise from both urban environments and headphones to shut out those environments, it stands to reason that our hearing may suffer over time. But despite the presence of substantial noise pollution, 61 percent of North Americans haven’t had their hearing tested in the last 5 years.

But uHear, a new iPhone app released by Kitchener-based Unitron Canada to kick off Better Hearing and Speech Month, aims to make a hearing test as easy as…well, as spending $0.99 in the App Store.

uHear is a self-administered screening test that identifies possible hearing loss through three assessments: hearing sensitivity, speech in noise and a quick questionnaire about common listening situations. The test is calibrated for both ears, and can be retaken at various times in order to test hearing under different conditions,, such as after attending a rock concert or listening to an mp3 player.

uHear is just the first in what promises to be a wave of medical apps destined for the iPhone. With iPhone OS 3.0 able to accept accessories that access the phone directly, soon everyone might be carrying a phone, mp3 player, internet device, and a doctor in their pocket.