A NEW TYPE of hearing aid that leverages the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) could be about to change the lives of millions of hearing loss sufferers.
In one of those "why has no-one done this before" moments, ReSound has launched the Linx 3D, a hearing aid that is controlled by your smartphone.
As well as offering an app for the iPhone, Android and Apple Watch, allowing you to tweak the settings for different environments, such as crowded rooms, restaurants, or watching television, the Linx 3D can give you direct communication with your audiologist who can then adjust the settings remotely, meaning fewer journeys for appointments to do a job that could take, perhaps five minutes and cost the end user for a private consultation.
The app offers intuitive control, similar to a graphic equaliser, designed to be used by even a technophobe.
An added bonus is that because the hearing aid is connected via Bluetooth, the devices can act as Bluetooth headphones optimised for the needs of the individuals.
ReSound is looking at the possibilities of deeper smart integration, with sound profiles linked to location, and perhaps connecting to other smart home devices in the future, but for right now the idea of putting the patient back in control of their hearing is going to go down well with a lot of people and is a principle that we've alluded to supporting more than once on this site.
The device itself represents a major upgrade for the estimated 65 percent of hearing aid users with a smartphone.
The Linx 3D is up to 50 per cent better at identifying speech across various environment, enables users to hear up to 80 per cent more of the sounds around them, and understands up to 40 per cent more speech in noise.
Hearing aids aren't 'consumer' devices and should always be looked at in the context of a professional hearing test. What devices like Linx 3D will do, however, is allow audiologists to spend more time helping people and less time tweaking existing customers, meaning the millions who could benefit but don't yet have access to a hearing aid can be helped. µ
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