Developments of hearing aids

Hearing aids are becoming more and more advanced through artificial intelligence. Even so advanced that a hearing aid becomes a wearable. Because even if your ears are good, you may want to wear a device that translates into multiple languages, monitors your vital signs, and tracks your fitness. A hearing aid becomes a personal assistant that measures your heart rate, blood pressure and glucose. The ear is the new wrist. What more can we expect from hearing aid developments?

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Wearing a hearing aid is not very desirable, but few people are aware that wearing a hearing aid can have a major impact on your health. Research has shown that 48% of people with hearing loss choose to wear a hearing aid and as many as 71% of these people indicate that they should have chosen a hearing aid earlier. On average, people wait seven years from the first symptom of hearing damage before seeking help. There is a taboo surrounding hearing aids, causing people to postpone wearing a hearing aid for as long as possible. By adding extra features , a hearing aid suddenly becomes a gadget that people want to wear, rather than have to wear. That could have a positive effect on people’s health!

Revolution of the hearing aid

Hearing aid manufacturers are increasingly using small sensors, such as artificial intelligence, to selectively filter noise and focus on specific sound sources. You can think of a person sitting in a busy restaurant, but also someone who watches television at home on the couch. Meanwhile, hearing aids track various health metrics, including walking steps, climbing stairs, and cognitive activity, such as how much the wearer talks and has social contact with other people during the day.

“But what does this have to do with a hearing aid,” you might ask? That is actually very simple: if you hear correctly, you will also go out and engage in social activities more often. Keeping exercise also has a positive effect on the rest of your health. Therefore, wearing a hearing aid will have many more benefits than just amplifying hearing. So it will be attractive to many more people

This is a change similar to the development of the smartphone. A few years ago you could only call with a phone, but in the meantime you do everything that has to do with lifestyle. Everyone carries a phone these days, even if you rarely call.

What developments can we expect?

During a visit to Starkey Hearing Technologies in Minneapolis, it became clear that this manufacturer is not sitting still. In the short term, they want to add multiple functions to the hearing aid. Think about:

  • Sleep assistant that makes you rest better at night
  • Blood pressure monitor
  • Upper and lower pressure gauge
  • Fall Prevention
  • Balance training
  • Medication reminder
  • Temperature gauge
  • Emotion Meter
  • Stress meter
  • Temperature gauge

It is not surprising that the ear is an important organ for measuring these things. The ear is also the place where pediatricians determine a child’s temperature. It is also the ideal place for measuring heart rate and balance, so that fall prevention can be incorporated into the hearing aid

In addition to Starkey, many more manufacturers are involved in the development of the hearing aid. You can already link the Oticon OPN to your Smart Home via IFFT and the Widex Evoke also uses artificial intelligence to find out how people use the hearing aid and what the best settings are. The hearing aid is therefore becoming more user-friendly and more advanced!

We are very curious about the developments around the latest hearing aids and are curious about what the future will bring us.

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By Yvan Karman