With smartphone apps that amplify speech (Mimi Hearing Test, 2016), and effective (Ear Machine, 2016) over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids and personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) on the market, consumers may now obtain hearing devices from the comfort of home, completely bypassing the attention of an audiologist.
Topic(s): Consumer, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid devices, Patient-Centered Care
The past 18 months have been nothing if not interesting for our profession. Between PCAST, the FDA, and the National Academy of Sciences, there have been multiple recommendations and suggestions regarding improving the access to, and affordability of, hearing care. More recently, the FTC announced that they too would be reviewing the delivery of hearing care, from their perspective as a consumer protection agency. And a bill has just been introduced in Congress that directs the FDA to develop rules for an over-the-counter hearing device.
Topic(s): Patient care, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid devices, Advocacy, audiology
In recent months, many new stakeholders have emerged within the hearing health-care system, including retail chains, hearable and PSAP companies, and technology groups (e.g., Consumer Technology Association). The emergence of these new stakeholders suggests that there will be changes to the current model of delivery of that care, and that the consumer could experience greater confusion in the marketplace given the expanded technology options available.
Topic(s): Hearing Health Care, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid devices
My Hearing-Loss Journey
My hearing-loss journey began as a child, watching my father struggle with the stigma of his hearing loss.
His hearing loss developed in early adulthood, an unwanted nuisance he inherited from his mother. I vaguely remember him wearing one hearing aid, and then two, and proceeding to grow his sideburns long over his ears to hide the evidence. This looked okay in the 1970s, but his sideburns stayed long his entire life, even as fashions changed.
Topic(s): Patient-Centered Care (PCC), Hearing Loss, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid devices
In October 2015, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report to President Barack Obama titled “Aging America and Hearing Loss: Imperative of Improved Hearing Technologies.” In the report, the council informed the president that untreated age-related hearing loss is a significant national problem. The advisors provided recommendations to decrease cost; enhance innovation; and improve the convenience, capability, and use of devices for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Topic(s): over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid devices, Healthcare, Personal Sound Amplification PSAP, Hearing Aids
The American Academy of Audiology (the Academy) had an extremely active 2017 on Capitol Hill and with federal regulatory agencies, seeing multiple victories and building relationships that will allow for continued success as we enter 2018.
Topic(s): Advocacy, over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid devices