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April 2012

Elevate fellow fine tunes access to innovation

Gurjit Singh credits the Mitacs Elevate program with facilitating the transition point between postdoctoral education and finding a fulfilling research position. He obtained his Ph.D. (psychology) from the University of Toronto, his M.A. (social psychology) from the University of Waterloo, and his M.Sc. (Audiology) from Western University.

“While I was working on my PhD, that’s what I was focused on. I needed time to foster industry relationships after my PhD, but I was still in an academic mindset. The Elevate program gave me the technical and practical skills to move to the next level.”

And he’s doing just that in the second year of his Mitacs Elevate postdoctoral fellowship. Gurjit is working with partner company Unitron Hearing, in collaboration with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto to make hearing care accessible through the internet. 

When a person gets a hearing aid, it’s necessary to have it tested to ensure a good fit, which means going back to clinician’s office a number of times to have it fine-tuned. Gurjit’s research is testing if having this fine-tuning done via the internet is a viable option. The goal is to understand people’s receptivity and attitudes towards the online process and the subsequent results which will be analyzed based against health outcomes of standard clinician appointments.

“People don’t take advantage of all the great innovations available in hearing health care. I see the use of the internet making accessibility more of a reality.”

Gurjit is also a clinical audiologist with both the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario and the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists. His research interests include teleaudiology, the role of cognition in audiology, and the factors that lead to success with hearing aids. Gurjit’s Elevate fellowship lets him combine these interests and foster industry relationships while helping take his research beyond the lab and directly to patients.