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Gamified digital hearing tests to improve the diagnosis of hearing impairments in children.


Alistair Marsden



Digital Health



Product Product

Startup opportunity

It is predicted that the number of people in the UK who suffer from hearing loss will rise to 14.2m by 2035. Early diagnosis and treatment of childhood is a key step in reducing this number. However, audiometry evaluations of young children are difficult, prone to failure and retesting. Largely due to the fact that young children have difficulty sitting still, understanding and completing the traditional 10 minute test.

Currently, many audiologists conduct a ‘play’ audiometry test where the child is asked to perform a simple tactile task whenever they hear a sound through their headphones. This may vary from putting a ball in a bucket or completing a puzzle.

Having experienced the audiometry testing difficulties with his own children, CLIK founder Alistair Marsden came to Nova believing there was an opportunity to modernise and improve childhood hearing tests. Taking advantage of tablet based audiometers and the popularity of digital games, he wanted to create a testing programme that keeps children engaged in listening tasks for longer to allow improved diagnosis of hearing impairments.


Since Co-founding with Nova

  • Validated concepts, designs and prototypes with Nova’s digital health innovation partner Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
  • Design and development of CLIK-desktop and CLIK-mobile screening software products.
  • Creation of brand, website & go to market strategy.
  • Obtained MHRA Medical classification 1.
  • Product now in use at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, NHS West Lancashire CCG and a number of private clinics in the North West.

Together we’ve created a tech solution for those that find standard hearing tests difficult to complete. Utilising our in-house design, animation and software development teams we’ve built and deployed multiple early product iterations incorporating feedback from children, patients and medical professionals.

Alongside product development, we have validated the pricing and business model for both NHS and private clients. This meant we were well positioned to take advantage of the market opportunity presented by COVID-19. Following the introduction of social distancing restrictions, CLIK were able to rapidly provide at home/remote screening services for audiologist’s and their patients whilst also improving diagnosis accuracy.

CLIK is positioned to gain a 20% market share by 2023. In doing so, they will help to improve costs, efficiency and experience for the NHS, audiologists and those that find standard hearing tests difficult to complete.



“Partnering with Nova and following their lean startup methods has taught me the importance of working hand-in-hand with my users and stakeholders. They’ve enabled me to build a business based first and foremost on both the user and customers' different needs. We have developed a fantastic product that’s exceeded my expectations and is continuing to help thousands of people across the UK.”

Alistair Marsden, founder of CLIK


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