Common Audiological Functional Parameters (CAFPAs): an abstract representation of audiological expert data
Correct diagnosis of hearing impairment and indication for individual treatment is a complex task influenced by many factors like the choice of audiological measurements, the most frequent cases at a clinic's location or the experience of the ENT doctor. The goal of the Common Audiological
Functional Parameters (CAFPAs) approach is to build up a supporting tool uniting expert knowledge and providing it to the community of ENT doctors.
The CAFPAs are designed as an abstract representation of audiological measurements, thereby generalizing over different measurements and representing functional principles of the auditory system. First data for CAFPAs and measurement results, for different, predefined diagnostical cases and indications for treatment, was collected by the use of a survey among experts from Hanover and Oldenburg. With this data, it is possible to distinguish different diagnostical cases on the basis of audiological measurements as well as on the basis of the newly-introduced CAFPAs. Thus, the CAFPAs serve as an abstract and compact, but interpretable representation of the measurements that do not take into account every detail. Furthermore, the survey results show that the degree of agreement of the experts on the measurement and CAFPA outcomes differed for different diagnostical cases. This property supports the idea of using statistical methods, e.g. machine learning methods, for modeling the audiological diagnostical path.