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Honiton hearing centre, Devon

Honiton hearing centre, Devon

 

 

Honiton hearing centre caters for all types of hearing loss and ear wax removal. Colin Eaton, the lead audiologist at the Keynsham hearing centre has over 15 years audiology expertise to make sure his clients get the best hearing result no matter what the hearing issues are.

Ear wax removal is available by appointment and a limited amount of out of hours appointments are available but please call Sam on reception if you require out of hours.

Comprehensive hearing tests are also available. Please make sure that any ear wax issues are clear before you take the test, if you need ear wax removing prior the test please call reception and make this clear to Sam that you will need ear wax clearing first.

If you are confused on what hearing aids are for and for what type of hearing loss, please watch our new video here that explains why so many different types of hearing aids there are.

 

Honiton hearing centre, News

Researchers Restore Hearing via Gene Therapy in Deaf Mouse Model

Published on 

In collaboration with the universities of MiamiColumbia, and San Francisco, scientists from the Institut Pasteur, InsermCNRSCollège de FranceSorbonne University, and the University of Clermont Auvergne have managed to restore hearing in an adult mouse model of DFNB9 deafness, a hearing disorder that represents one of the most frequent cases of congenital genetic deafness, Institut Pasteur announced on its website. Individuals with DFNB9 deafness are profoundly deaf as they are deficient in the gene coding for otoferlin, a protein which is essential for transmitting sound information at the auditory sensory cell synapses. By carrying out an intracochlear injection of this gene in an adult DFNB9 mouse model, the scientists successfully restored auditory synapse function and hearing thresholds to a near-normal level. These findings, published in the journal PNAS, open up new avenues for future gene therapy trials in patients with DFNB9.

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The left panel is a schematic representation of the human ear. Sound waves are collected by the outer ear made up of the pinna and ear canal. The middle ear, composed of the eardrum and ossicles, transmits sound waves to the inner ear, which features the cochlea – the hearing organ responsible for transmitting auditory messages to the central nervous system. The right panel shows an immunofluorescence image of the auditory sensory epithelium within an injected cochlea. The inner hair cells have been stained for otoferlin in green. Otoferlin is detected in almost all of these cells. The inset is a high magnification area showing an inner hair cell that has not been transduced. © Institut Pasteur

The left panel is a schematic representation of the human ear. Sound waves are collected by the outer ear made up of the pinna and ear canal. The middle ear, composed of the eardrum and ossicles, transmits sound waves to the inner ear, which features the cochlea – the hearing organ responsible for transmitting auditory messages to the central nervous system. The right panel shows an immunofluorescence image of the auditory sensory epithelium within an injected cochlea. The inner hair cells have been stained for otoferlin in green. Otoferlin is detected in almost all of these cells. The inset is a high magnification area showing an inner hair cell that has not been transduced. © Institut Pasteur

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Over half of nonsyndromic profound congenital deafness cases have a genetic cause, and most (~80%) of these cases are due to autosomal recessive forms of deafness (DFNB). Cochlear implants are currently the only option for recovering hearing in these patients.

Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are among the most promising vectors for therapeutic gene transfer to treat human diseases. AAV-based gene therapy is a promising therapeutic option for treating deafness but its application is limited by a potentially narrow therapeutic window. In humans, inner ear development is completed in utero and hearing becomes possible at approximately 20 weeks of gestation. In addition, genetic forms of congenital deafness are generally diagnosed during the neonatal period. Gene therapy approaches in animal models must therefore take this into account, and gene therapy efficacy must be demonstrated following a gene injection when the auditory system is already in place. In other words, therapy must reverse existing deafness. The team led by Saaïd Safieddine, a CNRS researcher in the Genetics and Physiology of Hearing Unit (Institut Pasteur/ Inserm) and coordinator of the project, used a mouse model of DFNB9, a form of human deafness that represents 2-8% of all cases of congenital genetic deafness.

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DFNB9 deafness is caused by mutations in the gene coding for otoferlin, a protein that plays a key role in transmitting sound information at the inner hair cell synapses. Mutant mice deficient in otoferlin are profoundly deaf as these synapses fail to release neurotransmitters in response to sound stimulation, despite the absence of detectable sensory epithelial defects. DFNB9 mice therefore constitute an appropriate model for testing the efficacy of viral gene therapy when it is administered at a late stage. However, as AAVs have limited DNA packaging capacity (approximately 4.7 kilobase (kb)), it is difficult to use this technique for genes whose coding region (cDNA) exceeds 5 kb, such as the gene coding for otoferlin, which has a 6 kb coding region. The scientists have overcome this limitation by adapting an AAV approach known as dual AAV strategy because it uses two different recombinant vectors, one containing the 5’-end and the other the 3’-end of the otoferlin cDNA.

A single intracochlear injection of the vector pair in adult mutant mice was used to reconstruct the otoferlin coding region by recombining 5′ and 3′-end DNA segments, leading to long-term restoration of otoferlin expression in the inner hair cells, and then restored hearing.

Honiton hearing centre, Devon

The scientists have therefore obtained initial proof of the concept of viral transfer of fragmented cDNA in the cochlea using two vectors, showing that this approach can be used to produce otoferlin and durably correct the profound deafness phenotype in mice.

The outcomes achieved by the scientists suggest that the therapeutic window for local gene transfer in patients with DFNB9 congenital deafness could be wider than thought, and offers hope of extending these findings to other forms of deafness. These results are the subject of a patent application filed.

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In addition to the institutions mentioned in the first paragraph, this research was funded by the French Foundation for Medical Research, the European Union (TREAT RUSH), and the French National Research Agency (EargenCure and Lifesenses LabEx).

Original Paper: Akil O, Dyka F, Calvet C, et al. Dual AAV-mediated gene therapy restores hearing in a DFNB9 mouse model. PNAS. 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1817537116

Source: Institut Pasteur, PNAS

Image: Institute Pasteur

Best ear wax removal, Honiton Devon

Best ear wax removal, Honiton Devon

 

The Best ear wax removal, Honiton Devon, is at the family owned and run independent Honiton hearing centre. Covering the whole of Devon including Tiverton, Exeter Lyme bay and Sidmouth.

The Honiton hearing centre based in Honiton and is the place to book for ear wax removal and hearing tests. If you are suffering from Tinnitus Colin Eaton the lead audiologist at the Honiton hearing centre can help you with Tinnitus therapy.  Local GP surgeries are no longer treating ear wax removal as part of the NHS but if you are in serious need and want to book an appointment please call Sam on reception to book your ear wax removal session. Please read the website for costs.

 

Watch our hearing test video here and our ear wax removal using Microsuction here.

 

Honiton Hearing News:

Best ear wax removal, Honiton Devon

 

Oticon Releases Survey Highlighting Tinnitus Prevalence in the UK

Original Story by The HEARING REVIEW

Oticon Logo

For a second year, the British Tinnitus Association is hoping to raise awareness of the prevalent condition suggested to severely affect 1 in 10 of the population. People with tinnitus have a hidden condition making it difficult for others to understand what they are going through. This year’s Tinnitus Week theme will draw attention to how many people feel isolated and unable to talk to their loved ones, friends, or colleagues about their condition.

A nationally representative hearing loss survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by hearing aid manufacturer Oticon, reveals just how prevalent tinnitus is and highlights the importance of recognition and education of the sometimes debilitating condition, the hearing aid manufacturer announced. An alarming 21% of respondents experience tinnitus symptoms such as ringing, buzzing, or persistent noise in the ears. Among these respondents, less than half have seen a doctor or hearing care professional about their symptoms, 25% do not think that they need to, and worryingly, almost 40% are not concerned about their overall hearing health, despite nearly half reporting that they do not have good hearing.

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To underline the significance of this year’s Tinnitus Week theme of isolation, the Oticon survey reveals that the biggest effect of the widespread hearing condition is withdrawal from social situations, which 28% reported. This is followed by lack of concentration (26.4%), less alertness (25.8%), and stress (22.4%). Furthermore, two thirds experiencing tinnitus symptoms find it tiring to hear what people are saying and follow conversations in situations where there are lots of people speaking.

Alison Stone, training manager and audiologist at Oticon, says: “People with tinnitus are often more tired and can have more difficulty concentrating, especially if there is background noise in the environment. They are also more at risk of high anxiety, depression, and irritation which affects their daily quality of life a great deal. Isolation is a natural response to many of the effects of tinnitus which is why the support of friends and family is so important. We urge those with tinnitus to talk, and although there is no known cure, to explore the management options available to relieve their symptoms which could significantly minimize the impact the condition has on their life. There are trained professionals out there who understand and can help.”

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The Oticon survey results highlight that tinnitus can be experienced by anyone, with between 16% and 24% of respondents reporting symptoms in each age category. Tinnitus can indeed be experienced by anyone, as well as be temporary or permanent, constant or intermittent.

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Oticon’s Alison Stone advises: “We know that approximately 80% of those with hearing loss also have tinnitus, and 80% of those with tinnitus also have some form of hearing loss. It’s important to highlight that tinnitus can sometimes be a symptom of a treatable medical condition, so, if you are experiencing any tinnitus symptoms seek professional medical advice from your primary care doctor or an ENT consultant. Early intervention could make a difference.”

Tinnitus Week aims to increase awareness of tinnitus with a week of promotions that highlight the impact tinnitus can have on the lives of the many people affected. For more information about the condition visit: https://www.oticon.global/hearing/what-is-hearing/tinnitus

Source: Oticon, British Tinnitus Association 

Exeter ear syringing available now

Exeter ear syringing

 

Exeter ear syringing or ear wax removal. The Honiton hearing centre is an independent hearing centre run by Colin Eaton and Sam Eaton and are based in Honiton near Exeter.  Just a short drive and you can get an earlier appointment for your ear wax removal or your hearing test. Honiton hearing are also a major Devon centre for the latest DIGITAL hearing aids. If you are suffering with hearing loss and need impartial expert advice them please call Sam on reception to book your appointment to speak with Colin.

Watch our ear wax removal video here.

 

Honiton hearing news:

A New Enhanced Operating System in Phonak Hearing Aids: AutoSense OS 3.0

Original story by The Hearing Review

Tech Topic | February 2019 Hearing Review

A review of the rationale for and enhanced features in AutoSense OS 3.0  with binaural signal processing, and how the new system is designed to achieve the most appropriate settings for the wearer, optimising hearing performance in all listening environments, including media steaming.

It can be challenging to hear, understand, and actively engage in conversation in today’s fast-paced and “acoustically dynamic” world, especially for a listener with hearing loss. The Phonak automatic program has been designed to adapt seamlessly, based on the acoustic characteristics of the present environment and the benefit for clients.

AutoSense OS™ 3.0 is the enhanced automatic operating system in Phonak Marvel™ hearing aids. It has been optimised to recognise additional sound environments for even more precise classification, applying dual path compression, vent loss compensation, and a new first-fit algorithm. In combination, these new enhancements to the Phonak automatic classification system ensure that the listener gains access to speech clarity and quality of sound irrespective of the environment, enabling them to actively participate in everyday life.

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Optimal sound quality in every listening environment for listeners with hearing loss is always the goal of hearing aid manufacturers and hearing care professionals alike. As pointed out by MarkeTrak, “Hearing well in a variety of listening situations is rated as highly important to hearing aid wearers and has a direct impact on the satisfaction of hearing aid use throughout daily tasks and listening environments.”1

Without conscious effort, humans naturally classify audio signals throughout each day. For example, we recognize a voice on the telephone, or tell the difference between a telephone ring versus a doorbell ring. For the most part, this type of classification task does not pose a significant challenge; however, problems may arise when the sound is soft, when there is competing noise, or when the sounds are very similar in acoustical nature. Of course, these tasks become even more difficult in the presence of a hearing loss, and hence, great strides have been made in hearing instrument technology to incorporate classification capabilities within the automatic program.

Technology Evolution

In previous years, the sound processing of hearing aids was limited to a single amplification setting used for all situations. However, since the soundscape around us is dynamic—with frequent acoustical changes in the environment—it is unrealistic for a hearing aid with only one amplification setting to deliver maximum benefit in every environment. The evolution of hearing aids has seen the introduction of sound-cleaning features, such as noise cancellation, dereverberation, wind noise suppression, feedback cancellation, and directionality. These features offer maximum benefit to overall sound quality and speech intelligibility when they are appropriately applied, based on analysis of the sound environment.

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Rather than having these sound-cleaning features permanently activated, their impact is greatest when they are applied selectively. For example, a wearer may not hear oncoming traffic if noise cancellation is permanently suppressing sound from all directions. Thus, defaults are set in the system for different environments.

Of course, the possibility exists to add manual programs to accommodate acoustic characteristics of specific listening environments (eg, an “everyday” program with an omnidirectional microphone enabled and a “noise” program with a directional microphone enabled). However, having several manual programs increases the complexity for the hearing aid wearer. Research data shows the increasing preference of wearers for automatically adaptive sound settings over manual programs for different environments,and this is further confirmed by data-logging statistics which reveal a decline in manually added programs with the launch of newer technology platforms (Figure 1).3

Figure 1. Market research data from Phonak in 2017: Percentage of fittings with manual programs at 2nd session across hearing aid platforms Spice/Spice+, Quest, Venture, and Belong (n = 183,331).

Figure 1. Market research data from Phonak in 2017: Percentage of fittings with manual programs at 2nd session across hearing aid platforms Spice/Spice+, Quest, Venture, and Belong (n = 183,331).

Results of studies focusing specifically on speech intelligibility demonstrate that the majority of participants achieve a 20% improvement in speech understanding while listening in AutoSense OS than in a “preferred” manual program across a wide variety of listening environments, suggesting that manual programs may not always be appropriately or accurately selected.Even more interesting is the fact that users rate sound quality as being equal between the automatic and manual programs.According to this same research from Searchfield et al,a possible explanation may be that the practical application of selection relies on the wearer’s manual dexterity, normal cognition, noticeable benefit, and motivation levels. Furthermore, their research confirms a bias towards selection of the first program in the setup—whether or not this would be considered “audiologically” optimal.

Having an automatic program which can seamlessly adjust to select the most appropriate settings in any environment therefore saves both the client and the hearing care professional effort, time, and hassle.

First-generation AutoSense OS™

When Phonak AutoSense OS was originally developed, data from several sound scenes was recorded and used to “train” the system to identify acoustic characteristics and patterns. These characteristics include level differences, estimated signal-to-noise ratios  (SNRs), and synchrony of temporal onsets across frequency bands, as well as amplitude and spectrum information. Probabilities of the degree of match between “trained” versus “identified” acoustic parameters in real time are then calculated for the most optimal selection of sound settings in each environment. There are seven sound classes: Calm Situation, Speech in Noise, Speech in Loud Noise, Speech in Car, Comfort in Noise, Comfort in Echo, and Music. Three of the programs—Speech in Loud Noise, Music, and Speech in Car—are considered “exclusive classes” (ie, stand-alone) while the other four programs can be activated as a blend when it is not possible to define complex, real-world environments by one acoustic classification. For example, Comfort in Echo and Calm Situation can be blended with respect to how much each of these classifications are detected in the environment.

Enhanced Benefits for Wearers

With AutoSense OS 3.0, Phonak has gone a step further and incorporated data from even more sound scenes for the classes Calm Situation, Speech in Noise, and Noise into the training for additional system robustness. Enabling the desired signal processing is the goal of automatic classification, so to support the wearer’s understanding in speech-in- noise situations, the program Speech in Noise is activated even earlier than before.

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AutoSense OS 3.0 is the foundation for steering the signal processing and applying the most appropriate setting for the wearer based on the acoustics present in the environment. Refinements to the audiological settings within this are always sought to further enhance the user experience, and the improvements occur in different areas of the signal processing.

In order to maintain the natural modulations of speech in noise as well as streamed media, dual path compression is available and activated based on the listening environment. This allows temporal and spectral cues in speech to be more easily identified and used by the wearer.6

It is known that a full and rich sound is preferred by wearers while streaming audio, so the system enhances the sound quality of streamed audio signals by increasing the vent loss gain compensation. The result is an increase in low-frequency gain by up to 35 dB, which is especially beneficial to overcome the vent loss of a receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid, most likely to be fitted with an open coupling (depending on the hearing loss and/or client comfort). This low-frequency “boost” is applied to streamed signals (or any other alternative input source, including a telecoil), while inputs received directly to the hearing aid microphones remain uncompromised, maintaining the frequency response of a Calm situation.

The Adaptive Phonak Digital (APD) algorithm has also been enhanced for spontaneous first-fit acceptance. The gain for first-time wearers fitted to an adaptation level of 80% has been softened for frequencies above 3000 Hz to reduce reported shrillness, but without compromising speech intelligibility. The desired effect of this is that the wearer experiences a comfortable and clear sound quality from the outset.7

New Classification of Media Signals 

Listening to music and enjoying it is achieved by an alternate setting that is used to attain optimal speech understanding. In an internal study conducted at the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC), participants emphasized their preferences for clarity of speech for dialogue-dominated sound samples and sound quality for music-dominated samples (C Jones, unpublished data, “Preferred settings for varying streaming media types,” 2017). This preference applies not only in the acoustic environment where signals reach the hearing instrument microphones directly, but also for streamed media inputs via the Phonak TV Connector or Bluetooth connection to a mobile device.

Phonak Audéo Marvel with AutoSense OS 3.0 now incorporates streamed inputs into the automatic classification process offering the wearer speech clarity as well as an optimal music experience. A recent study conducted at DELTA SenseLab in Denmark confirmed that the new Audéo Marvel, in combination with the TV Connector, is rated by wearers as close to their defined ideal profile of sound attributes for streamed media across a range of samples including, speech, speech in noise, music, and sport (Figure 2). The Audéo Marvel streaming solution was also rated among the top streaming solutions across 7 competitor solutions.This confirms that the way in which the classifier now categorises streamed media into the sound classes “Speech” versus “Music” is yet another way in which the system provides ideal hearing performance for wearers in their everyday lives.

Figure 2. Sound attributes plot for Ideal profile (in gray) & AutoSense OS 3.0 in Phonak Audéo Marvel with TV Connector (in green).

Figure 2. Sound attributes plot for Ideal profile (in gray) & AutoSense OS 3.0 in Phonak Audéo Marvel with TV Connector (in green).

Binaural VoiceStream Technology

The Binaural VoiceStream Technology™ has been reintroduced within AutoSense OS 3.0. This technology facilitates binaural signal processing, such as binaural beamforming, and enables programs and features such as Speech in Loud Noise (when StereoZoom™ is activated), Speech in 360°, and DuoPhone. StereoZoom uses 4 wirelessly connected microphones to create a narrow beam towards the front, for access to speech in especially loud background noise. We know that the ability to stream the full audio bandwidth in real time and bidirectionally across both ears improves speech understanding and reduces listening effort in challenging listening situations.This reduction in listening effort, and consequently, memory effort, has been demonstrated in recent studies employing electrophysiological measures, such as electroencephalography (EEG), where significantly reduced Alpha-wave brain activity is noted when listening with StereoZoom compared to listening with more open approaches of directionality.10 When we consider this in terms of the “Limited Resources Theory” described in psychology by Kahneman11(ie, that the brain operates on a limited number of neural resources), it highlights that efficiencies in sensory processing, through use of such advanced signal processing, may serve to free up resources to benefit higher cognitive processing for the wearer.

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Taking this a step further to look into behavioural patterns of speakers and listeners with hearing loss in a typical group communication scenario in the real world, methods such as video and communication analyses have been used effectively. Changes in behavior when listening with StereoZoom versus traditional fixed directional technologies have been compared and correlated with subjective ratings of listening effort. StereoZoom has been shown to increase communication participation by 15%, and decrease listening effort by 15% relative to the fixed directional condition.12

Summary

The ability of a hearing instrument to offer acceptable “hands-free” listening by automatically adapting to multiple situations increases the adoption rate of the instrument.The enhanced AutoSense OS 3.0, with binaural signal processing, achieves this by selecting the most appropriate settings for the wearer, optimising hearing performance in all listening environments, and now during media streaming, too. The wearer is freed from expending energy on effortful listening and can focus their enjoyment instead on tasks which are more meaningful to them, confident in the knowledge that their hearing instruments will automatically take care of the rest.

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 11.35.38 AM


Correspondence
 can be addressed to Tania Rodrigues at: tania.rodrigues@phonak.com

Citation for this article: Rodrigues T. A new enhanced operating system in Phonak hearing aids: AutoSense OS 3.0. Hearing Review. 2019;26(2)[Feb]:22-26.

References 

  1. Kochkin S. MarkeTrak VIII: Consumer satisfaction with hearing aids is slowly increasing. Hear Jour. 2010;63(1):19-32.

  2. Rakita L; Phonak. AutoSense OS: Hearing well in every listening environment has never been easier. https://www.phonakpro.com/content/dam/phonakpro/gc_hq/en/resources/evidence/white_paper/documents/insight_btb_autosense-os_belong_s3_028-1585.pdf Published August 2016.

  3. Überlacker E, Tchorz J, Latzel M. Automatic classification of acoustic situation versus manual selection. Hörakustik. 2015.

  4. Rakita L, Jones C. Performance and preference of an automatic hearing aid system in real-world listening environments. Hearing Review. 2015;22(12):28-34.

  5. Searchfield GD, Linford T, Kobayashi K, Crowhen D, Latzel M.  The performance of an automatic acoustic-based program classifier compared to hearing aid users’ manual selection of listening programs. Int J Audiol. 2017;57(3):201-212.

  6. Gatehouse S, Naylor G, Elberling C. Linear and nonlinear hearing aid fittings-1.Patterns of benefit. Int J Audiol. 2006;45(3):130–152.

  7. Jansen S, Woodward J; Phonak. Love at first sound: The new Phonak precalculation. https://www.phonakpro.com/content/dam/phonakpro/gc_hq/en/resources/evidence/white_paper/documents/insight_btb_marvel_precalculation_season4_2018_028-1931.pdf. Published July 2018.

  8. Legarth S, Latzel M; Phonak. Benchmark evaluation of hearing aid media streamers. DELTA SenseLab, Force Technology. www.phonakpro.com/evidence

  9. Winneke A, Appell J, De Vos M, et al. Reduction of listening effort with binaural algorithms in hearing aids: An EEG study. Poster presented at: The 43rd Annual Scientific and Technology Conference of the American Auditory Society; March 3-5, 2016; Scottsdale, AZ.

  10. Winneke A, Latzel M, Appleton-Huber J; Phonak. Less listening- and memory effort in noisy situations with StereoZoom. https://www.phonakpro.com/content/dam/phonakpro/gc_hq/en/resources/evidence/field_studies/documents/fsn_stereozoom_eeg_less_listening_effort.pdf. Published July 2018.

  11. Kahneman D. Attention and Effort.Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc;1973.

  12. Schulte M, Meis M, Krüger M, Latzel M, Appleton-Huber J; Phonak. Significant increase in the amount of social interaction when using StereoZoom. https://www.phonakpro.com/content/dam/phonakpro/gc_hq/en/resources/evidence/field_studies/documents/fsn_increased_social_interaction_stereozoom_gb.pdf. Published September 2018.

  13. Exeter ear syringing available now

Bridport ear wax removal

Bridport ear wax removal

 

Bridport earwax removal by the Honiton hearing centre.

 

Ear wax removal in the Bridport area is difficult as now the local GP’s have stopped the procedure as it is now not covered by the NHS.  Colin Eaton the lead audiologist at the Honiton Hearing centre is available to step in and take some of the slack in the area.  Specialising in ear wax removal using the Microsuction technique or the traditional water irrigation.  Apart from ear wax removal the Honiton hearing centre also conduct hearing tests and the servicing of hearing aids. Hearing aid batteries are on sale at the centre and the dispensing of hearing aids by the leading hearing aid brands.

 

Honiton hearing news:

BIHIMA Releases Q3 Results on UK Hearing Aid Sales

Original story by The Hearing review

BIHIMA_LOGO_RGB_150dpi

The British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) announced its release of the Q3 results of its members, providing a picture of current trends and developments within the UK and Irish hearing care markets.

According to BIHIMA’s announcement, the “most significant” development is the continued growth in the number of units distributed through the private market in the UK: the number of unit sales increased by 2,756 units (3.5%) from the previous year and by 2,638 (3.3%) from Q2 2018. YTD (year-to-date) unit sales were also up 3.8% from 2017.

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Meanwhile, the BIHIMA reports that the NHS side of the market slowed down in the same period: unit sales were flat compared to Q3 2017 and decreased by 7445 (2.2%) from Q2 2018.  YTD units were down 1.6% from 2017.

BIHIMA also tracks the trends in the types of technology being selected by patients in the private sector. In the private sector, the RITE/RIC (receiver-in-the-ear technology) continues to grow in popularity and now represents 69.4% of all sales, up 1.7% from Q3 2017.

“We are seeing solid growth in the private hearing care sector which is in line with expectations based on our aging population and also points to evolving public awareness of the hearing technology produced by our manufacturers which can have transformative results,” said the BIHIMA chairman, Paul Surridge.

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In its role as the voice for the hearing technology industry, BIHIMA regularly monitors the market and releases the results of its members every quarter.

To keep up to date with the latest market information, download the results here: https://www.bihima.com/resources/statistics/.

Source: BIHIMA

Hearing aids East Devon

Hearing aids East Devon

The Honiton hearing centre

 

Hearing aids East Devon, at the Honiton hearing centre run by Colin and Sam Eaton. Digital hearing aids have changed beyond recognition in the last 5 years. If you are using older hearing aids or have been using NHS hearing aids and would like to try the latest discreet digital hearing aids with connectivity with your mobile phone, tablet and T.V. Honiton hearing offer a free trial. Please contact Sam on reception. We use PhonakGN ReSoundOticon and other manufacturers hearing aids.

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The Honiton hearing centre also conduct ear wax removal using Microsuction and the traditional water irrigation technique. You can watch our video here to see how we do this and how painless and quick it really is.

Honiton hearing news:

Researchers Identify Gene Associated with Age-related Hearing Loss

 

Mouse study reveals contributor to hearing loss

An international group of researchers, led by Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD, associate professor, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and Michael Bowl, PhD, program leader track scientist, Mammalian Genetics Unit, MRC Harwell Institute, UK, have identified the gene that acts as a key regulator for special cells needed in hearing.

The discovery of this gene (Ikzf2) will help researchers better understand this unique type of cell that is needed for hearing and potentially develop treatments for common age-related hearing loss, UMSOM announced.

“Outer hair cells are the first inner ear cells lost as we age,” said Hertzano, whose research will be published in the journal Nature. “Age-related hearing loss happens to everyone. Even a 30-year-old has lost some of the outer hair cells that sense higher pitch sounds. Simple exposure to sound, especially loud ones, eventually causes damage to these cells.”

The inner ear has two kinds of sensory hair cells required for hearing. The inner hair cells convert sounds to neural signals that travel to the brain. This compares to outer hair cells, which function by amplifying and tuning sounds. Without outer hair cells, sound is severely muted and inner hair cells don’t signal the brain. Loss of outer hair cells is said to be the major cause of age-related loss of hearing.

About the Research

Hertzano’s group, in collaboration with Ran Elkon, PhD, senior lecturer, Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, took a bioinformatics and functional genomics approach to discover a gene critical for the regulation of genes involved in outer hair cell development. Bowl’s group studied mice from the Harwell Aging Screen to identify mice with hearing loss. Bowl identified mice with an early-onset hearing loss caused by an outer hair cell deficit. When the two groups realized that they were studying the same gene, they began to collaborate to discover its biological function and role in outer hair cell development. The gene is Ikzf2 gene, which encodes helios. Helios is a transcription factor, a protein that controls the expression of other genes. The mutation in the mice changes one amino acid in a critical part of the protein, which impaired the transcriptional regulatory activity of helios in the mice.

To test if helios could drive the differentiation of outer hair cells, the researchers introduced a virus engineered to overexpress helios into the inner ear hair cells of newborn mice. As a result, some of the mature inner hair cells became more like outer hair cells. In particular, the inner hair cells with an excess of helios started making the protein prestin and exhibited electromotility, a property limited to outer hair cells. Thus, helios can drive inner hair cells to adopt critical outer hair cell characteristics.

Hearing aids East Devon

Funding for the research was provided by Action on Hearing Loss UK, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense (DOD).

As Professor Steve Brown, PhD, director, MRC Harwell Institute, said, “The development of therapies for age-related hearing loss represents one of the big challenges facing medicine and biomedical science. Understanding the genetic programs that are responsible for the development and maturation of sound-transducing hair cells within the inner ear will be critical to exploring avenues for the regeneration of these cells that are lost in abundance during age-related hearing loss. The teams from the University of Maryland and the MRC Harwell Research Institute have given us the first insights into that program. They have identified a master regulator, Ikzf2/helios, that controls the program for maturation of outer hair cells. Now, we have a target that we can potentially use to induce the production of outer hair cells within damaged inner ears, and we are one step closer to offering treatments for this disabling condition.”

Original Paper: Chessum L, Matern MS, Kelly MC, et al. Helios is a key transcriptional regulator of outer hair cell maturation. Nature. November 21, 2018.

Source: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Nature

Image: University of Maryland School of Medicine

Interesting hearing aids Devon U.K.

Interesting hearing aids Devon U.K.

 

Honiton hearing news from around the world:

We are always looking at events and new innovations from around the world. Today we are sharing a company that are available in the U.S. and now the U.K.

Sivantos Launches New Form Factor with Signia Styletto SLIM RIC

Original story by the Hearing Review

Signia Styletto

Signia Styletto

Why should a hearing aid look like a hearing aid? That’s the question Sivantos engineers asked themselves when designing the new Signia Styletto receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid which is being launched today. Styletto is a rechargeable SLIM RIC that features a contemporary design and breaks the mold of traditional behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids by taking advantage of how its lithium-ion battery technology doesn’t need to conform to the traditional size and shape of a button cell. The new RIC, which uses the Signia Nx platform with Own Voice Processing (OVP), also comes with an extremely small charger which offers fast charging solutions as well as three full charges on the go.

“There are people who look at a hearing aid and really don’t see it matching their style,” says Eric Branda, AuD, director of product management at Sivantos Inc, Piscataway, NJ. “We see all these people wearing large Bluetooth headsets flashing on their ears—huge devices on their ears—and yet [the hearing industry has] struggled to get them to adopt hearing aids, and I think it really comes down to the fact that we keep asking them to wear what looks like a hearing aid.”

StylettoPinDesign

Styletto uses a slim-pin design instead of the current coin or button-cell design.

Stylistic freedom by thinking outside the button cell. In terms of the history of hearing aids, Branda points out that, going all the back to the original body-worn devices and moving into today’s CIC and RIC devices, hearing aid sizes and styles have been dictated by the size and shape of button cell batteries. Although lithium-ion rechargeable batteries have also been built in this coin design, they’re not restricted to it—as demonstrated by the new Styletto SLIM RIC. Instead, it departs from the traditional coin cell look by using a slim pin design to create a new form factor.

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“With today’s battery technology, we can take a new approach,” says Branda. “Rather than being discreet by being invisible, we can be discreet and drive acceptance withvisibility, which is a novel approach for people with hearing loss.”

Differentiating a hearing aid practice by appealing to different wearers. With its slim, elegant design that harkens to other high-tech product categories, Styletto provides a new option for those who might be put off by the traditional look of a hearing aid. In a US study of 500 mostly new users (92%) with moderate hearing loss, Sivantos found that when participants were given a choice between traditional BTE (Motion) or RIC (Pure) designs, or given the option of no hearing aid at all, more than half (57%) opted for the RIC, 19% selected the BTE, while almost one-quarter (24%) chose to go without a hearing aid. However, when the new Styletto was inserted into the study as an option, 90% of the participants selected a hearing aid: 65% of the study participants selected the SLIM RIC design, while about equal percentages opted for either the BTE and RIC (13% and 12% respectively), and only 10% chose no hearing aid at all.

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Similarly, when consumers looked at a simulated practice storefront window with a standard portfolio, only about 16% of the participants chose an offering without Styletto, while 84% of people chose an offering with the new aid.

Branda says that this indicates Styletto provides dispensing professionals with a new product that aligns more closely with patients’ style and view of themselves. “It may come down to the fact that people know what a hearing aid looks like,” he says. “But, when they see Styletto, they think ‘I can see myself wearing that and it doesn’t make me look like a hearing aid wearer.’”

Recharging case for Styletto.

Recharging case for Styletto.

Portable rechargeability for the wearer. The Styletto’s recharging case is very small, and reportedly offers 19 hours of full-day use with a 3-hour charge. If the wearer forgets to charge the device, they can drop it into the charger for 30 minutes and be able to use the device for 5 hours, says the company. The charger also carries three additional full charges. Thus, if the user starts out in the morning with a full charge and the charger is fully charged, they actually have four days of portable battery capacity available to them, according to Sivantos. The charger also contains an LED indicator to view the status of the charging, as well as an automatic on/off feature which means that the charger can serve as the primary carrying case.

The Styletto charger/charrying case is exceptionally small and carries 3 full charges.

The Styletto recharging/carrying case is exceptionally small and carries 3 full charges.

Nx technology. The Styletto hearing aid uses Signia Nxsignal processing which is designed to emphasize a natural experience using Sivantos’ Own Voice Processing (OVP) technology. Signia’s ear-to-ear wireless (Ultra HD e2e®) is used in OVP as well as the hearing aid’s Narrow Directionality for a more natural sound quality and better speech intelligibility in noise. The wireless technology also enables the device’s Twin Phone capabilities, which allows the wearer to place the phone up to the ear, obtain the acoustic signal, and then the hearing aid wirelessly sends the signal to the opposite ear for binaural advantage during the phone call.

Tiverton ear wax removal

The sleek instrument does not have push-buttons or a volume control. For those who want more control, the touchControl®App is a downloadable cell phone application that allows for the changing of volume, programs, and directionality. Similarly, miniPocket™, which resembles a keychain type remote control, allows for volume and program changes.

Styletto is available in all three of the Nx performance levels (7/5/3) and uses a Size M (60/119) receiver in lengths 2 and 3. The device is applicable for people with mild to moderately severe losses (60 dB gain).

For more information, visit pro.signiausa.com

Devon hearing aids Honiton

Devon hearing aids

 

Hearing aids at the Honiton hearing centre covering Lyme bay and East Devon areas.

 

The Honiton hearing centre are a truly independent small hearing company based in the East of Devon. Colin Eaton the lead audiologist was the Chairman of AHIPP the professional body of hearing experts. Covering the East of Devon including Tiverton, Cullompton, Honiton, Lyme Bay, Sidmouth and beyond.

Hearing test

Our comprehensive hearing tests are conducted with the latest hearing and digital audiology equipment. Please go here to watch our hearing test video. If you feel you need a hearing test them please call Sam on reception to book an appointment.

Digital hearing aids

We pride ourselves on dispensing the very latest digital hearing aids supplied by the leading hearing aid manufacturers. The digital hearing aids of today are more advanced than you could imagine. They connect wirelessly with your mobile phone, iPad, and T.V. just ask Colin Eaton our lead audiologist to advice you on hearing aid connectivity.

 

Honiton hearing News:

 

Widex Announces New Insights into EVOKE Hearing Aid’s AI Function

Published on 

Honiton hearing aids, Devon

Hearing aids in Tiverton and Lyme Bay Devon

Widex announced the first data gathered from the WIDEX EVOKE™ hearing aid, which is said to achieve “a new level of Artificial Intelligence (AI)” through machine learning, and is helping to bring new insights into how users are taking control of their sound environment to improve their hearing experience, according to the company.

Denmark-based Widex launched the WIDEX EVOKE hearing aid in April. The hearing aid is reportedly the first to give users the ability to employ real-time machine learning that can solve the tricky hearing problems that users face in their daily lives.

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“We launched WIDEX EVOKE with SoundSense technology to put users back in control of the most difficult hearing situations,” said Jens Brehm Nielsen, data science & machine learning architect at Widex. “And we can see that EVOKE users have taken the opportunity to do that and, in the process, are helping us understand more about them. That information will help us to make the EVOKE and future hearing aids even better.”

SoundSense Learn is an AI system, because AI is said to refer to systems that solve tasks humans are inherently good at—such as driving a car, doing the dishes, etc. SoundSense Learn expands into entirely new applications by helping end users adjust their hearing aids in the moment, reportedly something that no humans can replicate to the same degree of accuracy, according to Widex.

Devon hearing aids Honiton

The SoundSense Learn smartphone app is connected to the EVOKE hearing aids and uses machine learning to guide users in optimizing the settings to their exact needs. The app gathers a variety of anonymous data such as how often they turn the volume up or down, which sound presets they use, and how many custom settings they create—including those made with SoundSense Learn.

What’s in a tag?

Tagging of custom settings has proved to be one of the interesting pieces of data generated by EVOKE.

“We found that many people have created a setting and tagged it with, for instance, ‘work’ which suggests that it is something that our end users need and want,” said Nielsen. “And from SoundSense Learn we already have an idea of how they like the settings.”

Some hearing aids give users the ability to customize their sound experience by adjusting frequency bands to boost or cut bass, middle or high tones. Adjusting frequencies works well in many situations once the initial settings have been set by a skilled audiologist. However, some situations are so complex that hitting the right combination of adjustments can be difficult.

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“Widex hearing aids are well known for the quality of their sound,” said Nielsen. “But SoundSense Learn has added an extra layer of quality sound on top of that by using a machine learning algorithm together with reinforcement learning—the two key ingredients in state-of-the art AI algorithm, that enables the algorithm to learn in the moment.

“The algorithm learns an optimal setting every time a user finds the sound to be a little below expectations in a given sound environment. It learns these settings by simply asking the user to compare two settings that are carefully picked by the algorithm. This allows it to learn an optimal setting in a new environment very fast.”

By collating and analyzing the anonymous data WIDEX EVOKE will continue to become even smarter as time passes.

Source: Widex

Image: Widex

Ear wax removal, Honiton Devon, Lyme bay

Hearing aids, Honiton Devon & Lyme bay

Hearing aids and ear wax at Honiton Hearing Centre

 

Ear wax can be a debilitating condition if not treated. Your hearing will suffer and you maybe become less involved in your surroundings. Not being able to hear properly really can be a pain in the ear in more ways than one. At the Honiton hearing Centre we can asses your ears, if there is ear wax to be removed then we can do this painlessly and very quickly using Micro-Suction. You don’t feel anything at all and it can be done very very quickly by Colin Eaton the lead audiologist at the Honiton hearing centre.

Ear wax removal

Book an appointment and we can soon sort out any hearing issues or ear wax issues. Todays hearing aids/instruments really are breathtaking on how they have evolved in the last 5 years. These digital hearing aids are something else when it comes to connectivity. They will connect to your iPhone, Android phone and wearable digital watches. Ask us to give you more information.

Ear wax removal for the Lyme Bay area Devon

 

Honiton hearing News:

 

Phonak Launches Marvel with Universal Binaural Streaming and New Level of Sound Quality

Phonak has launched its new Audéo Marvel receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid which brings binaural sound to virtually any form of Bluetooth streaming—IOS, Android, or otherwise—with a unique sound classification technology yielding audio quality that impressed a group of industry experts and hearing aid users last week during a special media event and sneak-peek of the device at the company’s US headquarters in Warrenville, Ill, near Chicago. Based on the third version of Phonak’s Sonova Wireless One Radio Digital (SWORD) chip, the Audéo M is also designed to place the user at the center of the audiological process with an array of new Smartphone apps, remote fine-tuning, and sound processing capabilities, says Phonak US President Jan Metzdorff.

PARC Research Audiologist Lori Rakita, AuD, explains how the AutoSense OS 3.0 technology classifies streamed media in real-time for optimized listening.

PARC Research Audiologist Lori Rakita, AuD, explains how the AutoSense OS 3.0 technology classifies streamed media in real-time for optimized listening.

New levels of binaural sound quality and universality. One key feature that immediately jumps out in Audéo M is its sound quality. For real audiophiles and others accustomed to hi-fi systems, the sound quality in today’s hearing aids is very good, but can still prompt them to ask why the devices can’t sound like stereo headphones. Of course, the problem—which has been around even before made-for-iPhone (MFi) systems became available—stems primarily from the venting of the aid for real-life environmental speech and sounds. This provides the important natural sound benefits associated with open-fit aids, but has required a trade-off in streamed sound quality. With the Audéo M, Phonak has reinserted a clear richer sound into streamed music, TV, or other devices via hearing aids—and demonstrated fairly dramatic differences in a paired comparison test. The system features AutoSense OS 3.0 which reportedly classifies streamed media for optimized listening.

Barb VanSomeren, Lori Rakita, Kailen Berry, AuD, Jan Jan Metzdorff, Christine Jones, AuD, Anna Nicole Klutz, AuD, and John Urbaniak at Phonak US headquarters near Chicago.

Phonak staff members Barb VanSomeren; Lori Rakita, AuD; Kailen Berry, AuD; Jan Metzdorff, Abby Poyser, AuD; Christine Jones, AuD, Nicole Klutz, AuD, and John Urbaniak at Phonak US headquarters near Chicago.

“We have the first classifier that also operates on the streamed signal,” said Christine Jones, AuD, Phonak US vice-president of Audiology and director of the Phonak Audiology Research Center (PARC) in Warrenville during a presentation at the media event.  “Some of the early work we did highlighted that there was an opportunity with streaming—as with the unique listening environments that can also be encountered by patients—where someone’s preferences may be very different than when listening to streamed speech, or dialog in media, movies, etc. Listening goals can be different, and sound quality preferences can be different. So, now we are not only classifying the environmental sounds, but we can also classify those streamed sounds to deliver the best possible experience under all listening conditions.”

Although the advanced design of the previous Audéo B-Direct model is award-winning, it does not feature binaural streaming. With the new Audéo M, wearers can now binaurally stream audio content, including smartphone calls, music, eBooks, and more, to both ears from any Bluetooth device.

Phonak points out that iPhones account for only 13% of smartphone use worldwide compared to 86% for the Android OS, and wearers’ choices have been limited primarily to hearing aids that utilize the MFi protocol. Additionally, even with IOS-compatible devices, some forms of MFi hearing aid streaming (eg, streaming from MacBooks and iMacs) were unavailable until now. SWORD 3.0 is capable of running Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth LE, AirStream Technology (for TV), and Binaural VoiceStream Technology for high-speed data transmission between the two hearing aids in a binaural fitting. The new system even works with Siri and LiveListen. (Phonak’s proprietary Roger 2.4 GHz signal will also have direct streaming capabilities to the hearing aid next fall.)

“This means we now have universal binaural wireless connectivity,” said Dr Jones.  “In order to have the best access to speech on the phone, it’s best to hear well with both ears. And, beyond that, we are the only product that now connects to not just Apple and Android, but any Bluetooth device. This opens up a new world of connectivity for people because of its universal nature…What this means is, that in those cases where something is not accessible through the Apple iPhone or device, it should be accessible through the hearing aid.”

Jones explained that Phonak has also created a sophisticated system called “Environmental Balance” that controls how users hear the streaming in addition to how they hear the surrounding environment, both of which can still be adjusted via the basic volume control. All of this has the potential to open up even more of the popular streaming applications.

Packshot_Audeo_M-R_P5_pairAudéo Marvel wearers also benefit from hands-free Smartphone operation. Previously, hearing aid wearers using the MFi (and future ASHA) protocol needed to hold the smartphone up to their mouths and talk into the phone’s microphone to converse. The new hearing aids feature microphone inlets built directly into the housing, allowing wearers to have phone conversations by literally talking through their hearing aids.

Better processing and noise reduction, reducing cognitive load.Additionally, the enhanced SWORD OS incorporates Binaural VoiceStream Technology™ into Marvel hearing aids, a technology most recently employedin Advanced Bionics’ Naida CI sound processor. This four-microphone technology is reportedly capable of improving speech understanding by up to 60% in noisy places like restaurants, while simultaneously reducing the amount of effort by 19% required to listen and understand.1,2

“Audiology is at the heart of everything we do at Phonak,” said Sonova Group VP Martin Grieder in a press statement. “That’s why Marvel is such a game-changer for our industry. Marvel technology empowers people and provides a true ‘love at first sound’ experience. We believe the sound quality is second to none, and it begins the moment the person puts the hearing aids on.”

PhonakAudéoMarvel

Phonak Audéo Marvel mini-charger.

Lithium-ion rechargeable technology for “a full day of streaming.” While no reliable statistics exist on the market penetration of rechargeable hearing aids, most experts estimate that about 17-20% of all hearing aids now feature rechargeability. Phonak has been a pioneer in rechargeable hearing aid technology, creating in 2016 the first lithium-ion hearing aids—a technology that appears to be gaining ground with hearing aid manufacturers.

According to Phonak, Marvel hearing aid wearers can enjoy a full day of hearing aid use—including streaming— on a single charge. The Audéo M rechargeable hearing aid also offers new features, automatically turning on or off when taken out or being placed into the charger. The system includes new LED lights and a new mini charger.

Remote fine-tuning and live voice-to-text transcription apps. With Marvel hearing aids comes the introduction of a suite of convenient smart apps. The myPhonak app allows wearers to have their hearing aids adjusted in real-time, in any situation, anywhere via videocall by the hearing care professional. It also gives consumers the ability to rate their hearing aid satisfaction in various environments and directly send this feedback to their hearing care professional.

The myCall-to-Text app reportedly provides live transcription of phone calls from the other party in more than 80 languages. This provides an extremely useful option for hearing aid users in noisy environments, or for people who prefer additional visual captions when using the phone.

New marketing campaign and rollout. A suite of marketing materials has been developed to promote the Marvel launch. Phonak US Vice-president of Marketing Barb VanSomeren explained that the marketing surrounding Marvel emphasizes its multifunctionality, providing consumers with access to the world of sound that we all want via enhanced sound quality, a constellation of devices and streaming options, and phone calls. The new marketing assets highlight Phonak technology, audiology leadership, and Marvel’s diverse capabilities, and includes a video series that features two women exploring all the different ways Marvel can be used in a contemporary format (eg, the women’s dialog resembles the TV show Grace and Frankie) .

The rechargeable Audéo M-R will be available in November along with the zinc air Audéo M-312, and Phonak will add the Audéo M-312T and Audéo M-13T in February 2019. A rechargeable version of Marvel with T-Coil (Audéo M-RT) and RogerDirect functionality will be available as a firmware upgrade in Fall 2019.

 References

  1.  Field Study News about Phonak StereoZoom in preparation, available by end of 2018 at www.phonakpro.com/evidence.

  2. Winneke A, Latzel M, Appleton-Huber J. Less listening- and memory effort in noisy situations with StereoZoom. Phonak Field Study News. Available at: www.phonakpro.com/evidence

 

 

Cheapest hearing aids in Devon?

Cheapest hearing aids, Devon?

 

earwax, ear wax removal, microsuction, hearing aids, hearing aid batteries, Microsuction

Rechargeable hearing aids, available at the Honiton hearing centre, Devon. Ear wax removal also available.

The latest hearing aids in Devon

We may not be the cheapest hearing aids in Devon but we are very competitive and an independent small family owned company. Your ears deserve the best, we are the best in the East Devon area (according to our daughters). Unlike the larger high street companies, when you visit us you will be seen by the same person each time! This make a huge difference for your treatment and dispensing. Consistency is key when it comes to ear health.  We don’t have the buying power of the major companies but we are pretty close. We offer what the majors don’t. We offer one to one ongoing treatment and advice with the same person who you will get to know and we will get to know you.  For most of our clients we are almost family as we know each other so well.

If you feel like you need advice before you buy a new hearing aid or a set of hearing aids we are happy to trial these so you are 100% happy before you purchase. Please ask Sam or Colin what the costs are at the moment.

We are committed to make sure you are happy and content with your hearing aids, so always here to make sure you get the best from them and us. We will always try and fit you in as soon as possible if you are in need to see us urgently.

Ear wax removal Devon

We also conduct ear wax removal using Micro-suction, and the traditional water irrigation technique. You can watch our videos bellow to see how these work.

Please look at our videos to see how we work.

Ear wax removal Devon

Hearing test in Devon

Ear irrigation in Devon

Best Hearing aids South Hams Devon

Best Hearing aids South Hams Devon

 

Honiton hearing News in South Devon:

 

Starkey Launches Livio AI Hearing Aid with Integrated Sensors and Artificial Intelligence

Published on 

New digital hearing aids, Devon hearing aids, South Devon hearing aids, South Hams hearing aids, South hAMS EAR WAX REMOVAL, Kingsbridge ear wax removal, hearing aids Kingsbridge, Hearing aids, Hope Cove,

New Hearing aids in Devon at the Honiton Hearing centre. Ear wax removal using Microsuction

 

The Honiton hearing centre in South Devon, has the very latest hearing aids from Starkey. Read the news below to see what the new Starkey hearing aids can do fo your hearing today. Book an appointment to get your ear wax removed, or a hearing test.

Starkey® Hearing Technologies is said to have “reinvented both the hearing experience and the hearing aid” with Livio AI. Livio AI is reportedly “the world’s first” Healthable™ hearing aid to utilize integrated sensors and artificial intelligence and the first device to track physical activity and cognitive health as measured by hearing aid use in social situations, Starkey announced.

The launch also includes a brand-new mobile app—Thrive™ Hearing—and three new wireless accessories, the Starkey Hearing Technologies TV, the Remote, and the Remote Microphone +. With the Remote Micorophone+, Livio AI is also the first hearing aid to feature Amazon® Alexa connectivity.

“First and foremost, Livio AI is the best performing and best sounding hearing aid we have ever made,” said Starkey Hearing Technologies President Brandon Sawalich. “What makes today a pivotal moment in the hearing industry, is that with Livio AI, we have transformed a single-use device into the world’s first multi-purpose hearing aid, a Healthable with integrated sensors and artificial intelligence. Livio AI is so much more than just a hearing aid, it is a gateway to better health and wellness.”

According to Starkey, the new Hearing Reality™ technology is said to provide an average 50% reduction in noisy environments, significant reduced listening effort, and newly enhanced clarity of speech, while the use of artificial intelligence and integrated sensors enables it to help optimize the hearing experience.

Artificial intelligence and advancements in hearing technology enabled Livio AI to provide the following unique features and benefits, according to Starkey’s announcement:

  • Understand and see the real-time health benefits of using hearing aids – NEW
  • Overall health and wellness tracking through the app’s combined brain and body health score (Thrive Wellness Score) – NEW
  • Integration of the physical activity data measured by inertial sensors of the hearing aids with Apple Health and Google Fit apps – NEW
  • Personalized Control for customizable adjustments to sound and programs
  • Remote programming by users’ hearing professionals to put hearing healthcare in the hands of the users – NEW
  • Natural user interface with tap control – NEW
  • Unprecedented, natural listening, and speech clarity in the noisiest environments with the new Hearing Reality technology – NEW
  • Integrated language translation – NEW
  • Dual-radio wireless platform: 2.4GHz radio for streaming of phone calls, music, media, apps, and connecting with various devices including TVs and Amazon Alexa; near-field magnetic induction technology for true ear-to-ear communication and binaural noise reduction
  • Fall detection with inertial sensors integrated within the hearing aids (App support coming soon) – NEW

Designed to help users live their healthiest life, Livio AI is available as a RIC 312 and BTE 13 in a variety of colors. In addition to the above features, Livio AI also includes Starkey’s feedback cancellation, high-definition music prescription, Multiflex Tinnitus Technology, and Surface™ NanoShield pioneering water, wax, and moisture repellant system to help protect and ensure durability and dependability.

How integrated sensors and AI helped Starkey transform the hearing aid

“Artificial intelligence, coupled with advanced sensing devices, is rapidly changing the world around us,” Starkey Hearing Technologies Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Engineering Dr Achin Bhowmik said. “We are proud to introduce these transformational technologies into the world of hearing aids to both optimize the users’ hearing experiences and enable them to continuously monitor and improve their overall health besides treating hearing loss, reducing the associated risks of dementia, anxiety, and social isolation.”

The integrated 3D motion sensors inside Livio AI enable the hearing aids to detect movement, track activities, and recognize gestures. The hearing aids communicate with each other and compatible mobile accessories to deliver meaningful, real-time feedback about users’ overall body and cognitive health and fitness.

This technology may allow people to take a proactive and personal approach to treating hearing loss, which has been linked to various health issues including dementia, cognitive decline, anxiety, stress, social isolation, and an increased risk of falling.

Available at the Honiton hearing centre, South Hams Devon

Livio AI is reportedly the first device utilizing the ears to help users better understand not only how to improve their overall health and wellness, but also the deep connection between treating hearing loss and reducing health risks. This helps to improve key areas of wellbeing by reconnecting users to the people, places, and activities they love.

Livio AI is available in the United States and Canada at this time, with a global rollout to more than 20 countries in 2019. For more information about Livio AI hearing aids, the Thrive mobile app, and new Starkey Hearing Technologies accessories, please visit www.starkey.com

Stay tuned to Hearing Review for a follow-up article detailing Starkey’s launch of Livio AI.

Source: Starkey