We are witnessing a new era in hearing aid technology, driven by integrating features from consumer electronics, such as firmware updates and smartphone apps. These cutting-edge innovations elevate device functionality and significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with hearing loss.
This progress has opened exciting opportunities for you to provide more personalized and efficient solutions for hearing aid wearers, resulting in a more satisfying hearing experience.
Firmware: The driving force behind cutting-edge features
Firmware is embedded software that controls an electronic device's functionality. In hearing aids, firmware updates can introduce new features, enhance sound-processing algorithms, and improve performance.
Signia has been at the forefront of this innovation, implementing firmware updates to its Augmented Xperience (AX) platform. Recent updates have brought remarkable improvements to Signia's hearing aids, like Auto EchoShield, which reduces sound reverberation, and Own Voice Processing 2.0, providing wearers with a more natural perception of their own voice. Other updates have introduced hands-free calling (HandsFree for iOS) and reduced wind noise (upgraded eWindScreen), enhancing the user experience.
Smartphone Apps: Putting wearers in control
Building on these firmware advancements, Signia has also leveraged the power of smartphone apps to offer even greater control and customization for hearing aid wearers. By integrating these apps, hearing care professionals can provide tailored solutions catering to the the wearer’s needs and preferences, further elevating the hearing experience.
Signia's app includes the Signia Assistant, which uses a Deep Neural Network to predict and suggest hearing aid adjustments tailored to the individual’s preferences. A Deep Neural Network is a computer algorithm inspired by how the human brain works. It can learn to predict outcomes, like individual hearing preferences, by analyzing large amounts of data. In addition, the My WellBeing feature tracks physical activity, daily wear time, and social interactions, offering valuable insights into wearers' overall wellness.
MarkeTrak 2022 survey data reveals a significant increase in quality-of-life improvements reported by hearing aid wearers. In 2015, 48% of respondents said hearing aids regularlyimproved their quality of life. In 2022, that number rose to 64%. This shift may be partly due to integrating firmware updates and smartphone apps into hearing aid technology.
Optimizing outcomes with new hearing aid technology
As a hearing care professional, staying informed about these advancements and understanding how they can benefit your patients is essential. To ensure the best outcomes, consider the following steps:
- Evaluate your patient’s comfort with technology before fitting them with hearing aids featuring advanced technology.
- Provide post-fitting counseling to help patients master the skills needed to optimize the benefits of their devices.
- Encourage patients to take advantage of firmware updates and smartphone apps to unlock the full potential of their hearing aids.
Embracing these technological advancements can lead to significant quality-of-life benefits for your patients with hearing loss. By staying informed and working closely with your patients, you can help them make the most of the latest hearing aid innovations.
So, go ahead and explore the world of firmware updates and smartphone apps and discover the difference they can make in your patients' lives.