The Latest Hearing Aid Innovations
You only have to look around you when you’re on the bus or you’re having a coffee to see that technology plays an increasingly crucial role in our existence. While many of us think about smartphones and gadgets for the home when questioned about the impact of technology, its benefits are much more wide-ranging. The world of medicine is advancing at a rapid pace and new innovations are having a dramatic impact on people all over the world. As audiologists, we’re always interested in what’s coming next for patients who suffer from hearing loss. If you thought hearing aids were bulky, clunky, uncomfortable, unsightly devices, you might just be surprised at the incredible innovations on display today. Here are some of the most exciting recent developments.
Own voice processing
Own voice processing, or OVP, is a feature designed to alter the way the user’s own voice is processed by the hearing aid. Many people find that their voice sounds funny when they wear hearing aids and this innovative technology aims to put a stop to that. Using OVP, users can take advantage of a separate computer processor, which deals with your own voice differently to other sounds. The goal is to facilitate acceptance of your voice and enhance the user experience. This feature is likely to prove particularly beneficial for patients trying to adjust to hearing aids for the first time. It’s common to experience issues when it comes to hearing your own voice when you first wear hearing aids and this technology is likely to speed up the adjustment process and make it much more enjoyable.
Real-time Telecare is a true indicator of just how far we have come in terms of technological advances and improvements. Traditionally, when you have issues with your hearing aids, you make an appointment, get in the car and go and see an audiologist. With real-time Telecare, you can make a video call, explain what the problem is and your audiologist can tweak and modify your hearing aids remotely. You have the ability to assess how the changes impact you and you can also solve problems from the comfort of your own home. It is early stages for this form of technology and often, patients will still benefit from making an appointment and actually enjoying face to face contact with their audiologist, but this innovation could prove useful, particularly for patients who struggle to get out.
Hearing aid manufacturer, Starkey, recently revealed plans to fit sensors within their hearing aids to detect falls and monitor movement. The integrated inertial sensors will be capable not only of identifying when a person falls, but the hearing aid will also be able to report the fall. This is a feature that could make a huge difference to people with mobility problems, the elderly and those who are fearful of living on their own.
Rechargeable hearing aids
Rechargeable hearing aids are not a brand-new development, but there have been modifications and innovations since the first rechargeable devices were introduced. At the moment, the majority of rechargeable hearing aids are receiver-in-the ear-devices, but it is likely that manufacturers will widen their range in the coming months and years. A couple already have BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids on offer and others are expected to follow suit. Diversifying the range of hearing aids will enable more people to benefit from rechargeable hearing aids in the future. Rechargeable hearing aids make life easier for users, but they also offer manufacturers the opportunity to integrate more features. Power has always been an issue and with this new form of technology, brands can offer clients more without any worries about draining the battery.
Many of us spend hours glued to our phones and we use our handsets to control everything from the TV to our home security system. If you have an Apple phone, you can now connect your phone to your hearing aids via Made for iPhone. You can stream sounds or listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks directly, giving you access to crystal clear audio.
Technology is an integral part of our modern-day society. We are increasingly reliant on technology and innovations affect us, either directly or indirectly, on a daily basis. If you use hearing aids, you may be interested in what’s going on and what’s coming next. The good news is that technology in this field is advancing rapidly and new features, applications and appliances are becoming available all the time. The future looks bright!
If you’re interested in hearing aid innovations or you’d like advice about choosing the best hearing aids, why not get in touch with us at Hearing Solution Center? You can contact us online or call us at (704) 912-4422.