THE BLOG
12/24/2014 09:00 am ET Updated Dec 29, 2014

How Mobile Phone Compatible Hearing Aids Are Creating A New Market For 'Hearables'

Advances in healthcare have always gone hand-in-hand with the development of new, effective technologies. From the development and widespread use of the artificial pacemaker to advancements in joint replacement, technology helps people living with severe medical conditions live fuller, more active lives.

"Hearables" -- the next "wearable" health trackers - are the next frontier in the convergence of healthcare and technology.

Why? Because it is time for an update to digital hearing aid technology.

Since the introduction of digital hearing aids in the 1980s, technology has enabled us to make great strides in the industry. First, hearing aids have been miniaturized by smaller platforms and in turn these powerful platforms have enabled sophisticated sound processing algorithms that give the user a more natural listening experience. Further, we have expanded the hearing aid to a complete hearing system that connects wirelessly to accessories that allows improved hearing even in noisy environments and with the TV and telephone.

To go from hearing aid to hearables we now directly connect hearing aids with iOS devices.

Over the past year we have witnessed hearing aids permeate into the mainstream consumer technology world. While hearing aids are at their core, medical devices, this shift marks an important time in raising awareness of the technological advancements hearing aids have made since the 80s. There is enormous opportunity and potential in the hearables market and our work in the area is just starting.

The introduction of Made for iPhone hearing aids has prompted more people to address their hearing losses, knowing tech savvy solutions exist, across all age groups. This is particularly important in reaching the many boomers who have some degree of hearing loss. Age aside, all hearing aid wearers are looking for discreet, convenient and connected solutions that encapsulate the best sound quality. Hearables represent what wearers are looking for -- smarter hearing.

Further, the term hearables is making strides in eliminating current stigmas and preconceived notions of what a hearing aid is, and how it is used to treat hearing loss. Today's hearing systems allows users to connect with their families, to enjoy sounds in all listening environments and live their lives uninterrupted by hearing loss. Advancements in technology help make this happen.

As a new and innovative class of healthcare devices, hearables are now being recognized as game-changing technological advancements beyond healthcare professionals and patients. The technology community has welcomed GN ReSound smart hearing solutions at the Consumer Electronics Showcase (CES) in Las Vegas for the past two years.

It's an incredibly exciting time to be in the hearing health industry. By collaborating with the technology industry, we are able to integrate the latest advances and best audiology practices to optimize our products. Hearables will only continue to cement their place as a major advancement in healthcare, as we continue to develop intuitive products and programs that further increase accessibility for the hearing impaired.

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