Medtronic Labs launches ear-screening initiative for Uber drivers in India | The Financial Express

Medtronic Labs launches ear-screening initiative for Uber drivers in India

The company, in a statement, said that the ear screenings will help assess the adverse impact of prolonged exposure to traffic noise for drivers, and identify cases that need further medical attention.

Medtronic Labs launches ear-screening initiative for Uber drivers in India

Medtronic Labs, an independent entity supported by Medtronic, has launched an ear-screening initiative for drivers on the Uber platform across India. The testing will be carried out under its flagship program Shruti, starting from Bangalore followed by Pune and Hyderabad before scaling to other cities. 

The company, in a statement, said that the ear screenings will help assess the adverse impact of prolonged exposure to traffic noise for drivers, and identify cases that need further medical attention. 

AK Agarwal, President, Society for Sound Hearing 2030 said, “Early intervention can play a significant role in minimizing negative consequences of hearing loss. Community based solutions that combine tele-otology and tele-audiology can aid in timely intervention, especially for at-risk populations such as the drivers.”

The screening will be conducted using an innovative ear screening kit called the ENTraview which is a custom designed smart otoscope designed by Medtronic LABS. The kit has been specifically built for field usage and the initial screening takes less than 2 minutes.   

Kaustubh Bhatnagar, COO, Medtronic LABS said, “From innovative field screening tools, cloud infrastructure to treatment pathways- Shruti has been instrumental in taking ear care to the communities and has screened upwards of 10 lakh people and more. We are excited to partner with Uber to offer this comprehensive ear care program to their driver partners.” 

Shiva Shailendran, Director, Operations, India and South Asia, Uber said, “Drivers are at the heart of what we do at Uber. We’ve continually focused on the safety and well-being of driver partners and their families. We believe that this initiative will help raise awareness  and bring meaningful change  in drivers’ lives.”

 According to the annual CPCB report (Central Pollution Control Board), almost 80% of the noise monitoring stations under the National Ambient Noise Monitoring Network (NANMN) reported higher than permissible limits of noise. 

Further, industry reports have established that traffic and specifically honking are some of the leading contributors to the noise levels in various cities in India. Given the prolonged exposure of drivers to such noise levels, they are particularly at risk of noise induced hearing loss, which is one of the most common workplace disorders among drivers.

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