According to the statistics, the prevalence of congenital hearing loss in Taiwan is approximately six thousandths; furthermore, one thousandths of infants have severe hearing impairment. Hearing ability during infancy has significant impact in the development of children-s oral expressions, language maturity, cognitive performance, education ability and social behaviors in the future. Although most children born with hearing impairment have sensorineural hearing loss, almost every child more or less still retains some residual hearing. If provided with a hearing aid or cochlear implant (a bionic ear) timely in addition to hearing speech training, even severely hearing-impaired children can still learn to talk. On the other hand, those who failed to be diagnosed and thus unable to begin hearing and speech rehabilitations on a timely manner might lose an important opportunity to live a complete and healthy life. Eventually, the lack of hearing and speaking ability will affect the development of both mental and physical functions, intelligence, and social adaptability. Not only will this problem result in an irreparable regret to the hearing-impaired child for the life time, but also create a heavy burden for the family and society. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a set of computer-assisted predictive model that can accurately detect and help diagnose newborn hearing loss so that early interventions can be provided timely to eliminate waste of medical resources. This study uses information from the neonatal database of the case hospital as the subjects, adopting two different analysis methods of using support vector machine (SVM) for model predictions and using logistic regression to conduct factor screening prior to model predictions in SVM to examine the results. The results indicate that prediction accuracy is as high as 96.43% when the factors are screened and selected through logistic regression. Hence, the model constructed in this study will have real help in clinical diagnosis for the physicians and actually beneficial to the early interventions of newborn hearing impairment.
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